Once in a blue moon
Inspired by the Native American custom of naming full moons, veteran Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Rylant teams up with newcomer Mark Siegel in a lovely new book showcasing the 12 full moons of the year.
As artist Mark Siegel shares in a note, although he was immediately captivated by Rylant's words, he wasn't quite sure of the best medium to use for his artwork. After trying acrylics and oils, he finally chose charcoal, pencil and pastels.
Perhaps more importantly, he took "many long walks by moonlight in the beautiful Rockefeller Farms, near Sleepy Hollow, New York," realizing that he'd never given so much attention to moonlight before. This careful attention paid off in Siegel's stunning illustrations exploring all 360 degrees of one spot in the countryside. The dark yet silvery images seem perfectly in tune with Rylant's words, which evoke the moons, the natural world and seasons, and the meanings they hold for us. The book begins:
the Stormy Moon shines in mist, in ice, on a wild wolf's back.
Find it and find your way home."
Each month is lovingly evoked, from the Sprouting Grass Moon of April, to June's Strawberry Moon, to the Acorn Moon of October. December's moon is the Long Night Moon, which waits, and waits, and waits for morning. This, Rylant tells us, is the faithful moon.
Long Night Moon is a perfect way to introduce young children to the seasons. Share it with your family after a moonlit walk, and you will create indelible memories.