Margaret Wise Brown, author of the children's book classics Goodnight, Moon and Runaway Bunny, died in 1952 leaving behind a trunk of never published works and pieces. The Moon Shines Down is one such book, now published for the first time.
This book is based on the English prayer "God bless the moon and God bless me." Through its pages readers travel the world, from Switzerland to Korea, Australia to Mexico to France and Africa and several places in between. At each stop they learn, along with their koala guide, a little about that place and the children who live there, then pray a blessing over all those the moon sees. For example:
I see the Moon and the Moon sees me,
And the Moon sees the Dutch boy
Far over the sea.
When the tulips bloom by the Zuider Zee,
O God bless him and God bless me."
Brown's original manuscript was seamlessly completed by Laura Minchew. Linda Bleck illustrated the book with Brown-like style and colors.
What I Like: If your children like Goodnight, Moon, they'll love this! It offers a tone and style so similar, yet completely unique content. My kids really enjoy this book. I like the international flare, the tidbits of information about regions around the world. Because of the book's repetition and rhyme, this is a good choice for beginning readers.
What I Dislike: "Moon" is capitalized throughout the book. The only other word consistently capitalized is the name of God. This stylistic choice seems to imply deity. The flow and rhyme were not always perfect. This book is definitely not equal to Brown's other works, but I still recommend it.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 4-8
Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2008; ISBN: 140031299X; Hardback; $16.99
Special Info: It's clear the "me" in this book, the koala telling the story, lives in North America. If you live outside the United States or Canada (two nations never actually mentioned in the book), your child may be a bit confused.