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The Moon    by Robert Louis Stevenson & Tracey Campbell Pearson order for
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic twelve-line poem is reborn in this freshly illustrated children's picture book. Originally published in 1885 in A Child's Garden of Verses, this poem celebrates the wonders of the world, the moon in particular, and its effects on people and animals:

'The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

Of all the wonderful poems in A Child's Garden of Verses, though, it does seem odd to select The Moon for a full illustrative book, as this is not necessarily a standout and there are many other poems in that volume that would lend themselves equally well to illustration. Nonetheless, it is refreshing to recall the contribution that the prolific Stevenson made to children's literature. The illustrations are updated - the style is more modern, the family is shown driving away in a car, and then later in a speedboat, so they clearly live in this century. But this just emphasizes the timelessness of Stevenson's poetry. 

With binoculars in hand, a boy and his father are about to go outside to gaze upward at the moon, reflecting their awe at this natural wonder. Pearson uses deep, lush blues, and is that a face I see in the moon? A cute touch is the little boy carrying a copy of The Moon into his parents' bedroom when the sun comes up the next morning. But though this is a nice retelling, nothing takes the place of the original A Child's Garden of Verses.

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