11 November 2008

book review: the moon shines down by margaret wise brown

The Moon Shines Down is a children’s book from Margaret Wise Brown, the same author who brought muffin-eating moose and cookie-eating mice into our homes.

For being a decades-old book that was only recently found in a trunk, there is an element of today in the carefully crafted words.

The Moon Shines Down highlights the diversity of children. Gorgeous illustrations open up the imagination to what life might be like for children in other parts of the world. The common (and comforting) theme that runs throughout is that the same moon shines down on children in Holland, China, and Zimbabwe. That same moon is the one that is out the bedroom window of the American children reading this calming book in bed.

Especially in today’s world, simply opening up a dialogue with our children about diversity and differing circumstances is a priceless exercise. Our children are increasingly insulated from the conditions around them and, while this book is simple and sweet in its worldview (Zimbabwean children play around a fire while lions rest in a tree nearby), it does provide curious little minds with more fuel to add to the inquisitive fire.

Altogether, The Moon Shines Down is a lovely addition to a children’s library and a magical, soothing bedtime ride to the ends of the earth.

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