One of the things we discovered when we were doing our research in preparation for this theme is that it is difficult to find picture books about fairies and goddesses and elementals that have little to do with mythology, religion, or folktales. And so we decided to expand our theme to also include what we call spirit-stars and heavenly bodies in addition to celestial beings. This has broadened our range considerably to include the moon, the stars, and the ‘infinite blank spaces’ between universes.
I am glad that this book found me from our library bookshelves as I truly enjoy most of Etienne Delessert’s picture books. The artwork is pretty distinctive with Delessert’s signature style of bold shapes, rounded figures, and a palette of subdued yet striking colors.
In this picture book, the artwork takes center stage with the text consisting only of a single line found at the bottom of each page. Essentially, the book is about the moon being the diva of the skies every night, with an ancient man with a pointed hat (and a star found at its tip) pulling the moon up and sending it on its journey in the evening clouds.
Then there is the little boy who works backstage whose work begins earlier on to prepare the heavens for the coming of the night. He waters the stars (how beautiful is that)
He also makes sure that the flowers and the birds are in good condition, and even trains the wild dogs to make sure they have their voices pitch-perfect and in unison for their nightly howls as they give tribute to the moon. There is poetry here as the little boy does his seemingly-endless chores of taming the night monsters and sprinkling star dust for the cuddly bears and dolls for a soft slumber. And the artwork begs to be touched and hugged as a little child drifts off to slumber land. Perfect night-time read aloud for little children and those who are kids at heart.
For those who wish to know more about Etienne Delessert’s artwork, here is a catalog created by the Eric Carle Museum in time for Delessert’s exhibit which includes a write up by David Macaulay about “The World of Etienne Delessert” and a write up by Delessert himself entitled “Why Grow Up?” There is also an interview done by Emmanuelle Martinat-Dupré which you can see here. Jules from 7-Imp has also done a fast-paced interview with Delessert here. Click here to be taken to Etienne Delessert’s official website.
Moon Theater by Etienne Delessert. Published by Creative Editions in 2009. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Moon Theater, published in 2009, was listed among the top five children’s books of 2009 by the Huffington Post
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