Author and Illustrator: Alison Oliver
Expected Publication April 17th, 2018 by Clarion Books
Summary: Like many children, Moon leads a busy life. School, homework, music lessons, sports, and the next day it begins again. She wonders if things could be different. Then, one night, she meets a wolf.
The wolf takes Moon deep into the dark, fantastical forest and there she learns to howl, how to hide, how to be still, and how to be wild. And in that, she learns what it’s like to be free.
Review: Just as Where the Wild Things Are made children think about controlling our inner wild things (anger), Moon has us look at the new pressures of childhood and the need to let kids unleash their inner wild thing (playfulness). I talk often about the pressure that kids with other parents and teachers about the pressure that kids have on them now. Computer programs and homework starting in kindergarten, multiple standardized testing starting in 3rd grade, high school classes starting in middle school, AP classes required for almost everyone, etc. etc. etc. It makes me so sad to see that a lot of the joys of childhood are being pushed away to make kids grow up earlier (but then we complain about kids growing up quicker…). Moon, the main character, represents so many of our kids, and her adventure shows how important it is to let our kids just be themselves to be happy and to remove some of the pressure. I loved this message, and I thought it was told in a beautiful and figurative way that will lead to wonderful discussions and lots of rereading.
And I couldn’t review this book properly without commenting on the beautiful illustrations. I particularly loved the palette changes to highlight time and place and the bits of humor in the illustrations. Just a wonderful combination of artwork and story.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Moon‘s theme and symbolism are what jump out to me first, and I see them being what is discussed the most when it comes to this book, and I could see it be extended from early elementary all the way to middle school just pushing the conversation to different levels the older students get.
- What do the wolves symbolize in Moon’s story?
- How is your life similar to Moon’s at the beginning of the book?
- How does Moon’s life change from beginning to end?
- What lesson was the message the author was trying to spread from Moon?
- Do you see any differences between Moon from the first couple of pages and the last couple of pages?
Read This If You Love: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden, Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell