Zosienka. Moon Keeper, The. Zosienka, Illus. Picture Book. HarperCollins, 03/2020. pp. $17.99. 978-0-06-295952-2. OUTSTANDING. TODDLER.
Emile the polar bear is appointed keeper of the moon by the other night animals; but as it begins to wane from full to crescent, Emile fears that he is not doing his job. With some encouragement to be patient and give it some time, Emile discovers that the moon will come back to fill the sky. The tone is gentle and humorous (“Which fish only swims at night?” asks a firefly, and another firefly replies, “A starfish”). The drawings are not cartoonish, but the animal behavior is—Emile the polar bear rummages through a trunk, climbs a ladder, vacuums the night sky, and calls a cheetah on the telephone. He also makes some pencil drawings of the phases of the moon which could be used to encourage the same activity in school-aged children. The illustrations are rich and vibrantly colored, done in colored pencil and opaque paints with many little details that can be discovered with time and re-readings. Many pages have full illustrations with only a few words of text, giving the reader/ listener time to savor the amazing artwork. Children interested in the moon and/or animals will be charmed by this book.
Rachael Reiley, San Jose State University, iSchool