Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Man in the Moon - William Joyce

Title: The Man in the Moon (The Guardians of Childhood, Book 1)
Author: William Joyce
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), 2011 (Hardcover)
Length: 56 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Started: July 31, 2012
Finished: July 31, 2012

From inside cover:

Up there in the sky.
Don't you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon

He wasn't always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.

He was once a child.
Like you.
Until a battle,
a shooting star,
and a lost balloon
led him on a quest.

Meet the very first
Guardian of Childhood,
MiM, the Man in the Moon.

I've always loved picture books, especially more sophisticated ones that are beautifully illustrated. When I heard the buzz about William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood series last year, I knew I'd be buying these for my daughter.

The idea behind Joyce's series is that all the key figures from childhood stories: Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, Jack Frost, and the Easter Bunny; organized by the Man in the Moon, band together to serve children and ensure their happiness. The series is ongoing and will apparently total 13 books between two formats when finished, picture books and middle grade novels. The Man in the Moon is the first entry for the picture books (with The Sandman coming out Fall 2012). Two of the novels are out currently, plus a movie releasing for the holiday season.

This is a wonderful series to get into if The Man in the Moon is any indication. The story is whimsical and sweet (but not cavity-inducing sweet), and the illustrations are simply gorgeous. The amount of detail in the pictures is amazing: the constellations, the diagrams of the Moon Clipper ship, the maps of the moon's surface, more than I expected from a children's book.

You might not want to read this to a very young or sensitive child, there's a scene where MiM's family is essentially killed by Pitch, the King of Nightmares (though it doesn't explicitly say it, it's done in a manner similar to Bambi so it's pretty obvious), so perhaps skip this book till your child is old enough to handle a character death.

Gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful whimsical story, there's no better combination for the start of this series.

Thoughts on the cover:
I love how they managed to make a bug (the Lunar Moth) look irresistibly cute, it looks like one of those Glow Worm stuffed toys but with wings. I also like the raised gold font.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I'm currently working on a review of this one and The Sandman for my own blog. I'm a writer, artist and mom. Would love if you could stop by and possibly provide a bit of critiquing to my blog. Thank you.