moonday on thursday


30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Seven: Moonday

by Adam Rex

Disney/Hyperion Books, 2013.

moonday coverWhat do you do when the moon lowers itself into your backyard?
When mornings are replaced by perpetual night,
and people sigh-sleep in their eyes.
What do you do when the tide comes in,
and all the neighborhood dogs won’t stop howling?

You take the moon for a ride.

Adam Rex creates a fantastic tale that is both imaginative and beautiful; one that blurs the line between dreams and reality.–publisher’s comments

Moonday is a lullaby, a dreamscape, a quietude, a meditation. This is a perfect bedtime read. And perhaps it will prove a viable alternative to that well-timed and -traveled route to lull the little one to sleep. (Natalya and I had a route for a time, once upon a time.) Send them off to bed wondering if the girl in the story only dreamed her moonday, or if it really happened.

moonday page8-9flatFor all its dreamlike qualities, the whimsical is restrained in order to allow for that blurred line with reality. The story moves through the moon’s strange phenomena (minus lycanthropy) and pulls away just as it bumps against the “1+1=moon.” Of course, the book is left to the reader as to what appears bizarre (aka the stuff of dreams) and plausible (the stuff of waking), e.g. the mother. Goodness knows that the depiction of the yawn that “swayed up the block” exhibits verisimilitude.

The illustrations begin in the tone-setting sepia and violet prints of a town from the top of a hill. The pages are black with white type, and the first image for text is a small centrally located frame. The scale of the paintings, following the moon, waxes and then wanes. We close with a double spread of the town awash in pink at sunrise. The realism in the medium and Rex’s attention to details collide with the improbability of that moon, or is it the moon’s presence that troubles our assumptions of reality. Moons are for dreaming, for magic, for inventors like Méliès who redefine possibility. I’m sure you will not find Moonday shelved under inspirational, but I find it a lovely work to dream by, to lull by, and to accompany a hot mug of cider before bed.


7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast featured Adam Rex and Moonday. See their post on the creation of this book. …&… Kirkus Reviews‘ starred review.


Adam Rex answers “Why Picture Books Matter,” Picture Book Month (Nov 2012), an excerpt:

PBMLOGO-COLOR_HIGHRES-300x300Picture books are important because people of every age deserve a medium whose primary aim is not to educate, or cajole, or sermonize; but rather to connect, to touch and effect, and even to entertain. For the youngest readers they’re windows, if you can forgive that, through which the child can explore beyond himself in a shared space with a caregiver. To older children they’re like soul food; a course of their own that’s nourishing and warm and entirely apart from the roughage of more pedantically challenging fare.

Kids deserve a medium that makes them feel seen and understood. But which might also make them feel more than they understand.

{images belong to Adam Rex}

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