If You Were the Moon
By Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim
(32 pages, children’s fiction, 2017)
This story begins with a child talking to the moon about how tired she is, musing that she wishes she could be like the moon and do nothing. The moon says back, “But I do so many things, child. And if you were me, you would too.”
With charming and cheerful illustrations, Laura Purdie Salas’ If You Were the Moon invites children to learn a whole bunch of magical moon facts, while also providing parents with a calming story perfect for bedtime. Even though this book is geared toward early-elementary aged children, younger kids might also enjoy this book for the mesmerizing pictures and the simple words that accompany each page of scientific information about the moon. Salas personifies the moon by describing it as the Earth’s child on one page (hovering near its “mother”) as a glowing ballerina on another, and on other pages, as a playful character playing “dodgeball with space rocks,” playing peek-a-boo with all of us here on Earth, and playing tug-of-war with the ocean.
I found this to be such a cute way to explain some of the science behind the moon’s movement, appearance, and connections to Earth. I even learned some facts about the moon that I didn’t know before; for instance, did you know that the moon prevents the Earth from extreme wobbling that would create intense swings between extraordinary heat and freezing cold? It’s always enjoyable to learn right along with your child when reading together.
The book also talks about how the moon helps baby sea turtles find the ocean, how it serves as an alarm clock for nocturnal animals, and the moon’s influence in different cultures. This story provides a great opportunity for children to apply their knowledge from the book to the real world; after reading the book, they will know what causes the phases of the moon, and may remember that the moon affects the tides and waves the next time they visit the ocean. If You Were the Moon blends imagination and creativity with scientific exploration, and is sure to be a hit with parents and children alike.
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