Thursday, February 19, 2015

PB 14: 14 Day 4 ~ A BEAUTIFUL MOON

Continuing the Christie Wild Wright PB 14:14 Challenge, I will review BEAUTIFUL MOON and focus on one of the Top 10 Story Elements for Picture Books.

My goal is to dedicate this blog to nonfiction books. But once in a while, I find a book so enchanting, I have to share it with the world. This is THAT BOOK!!! So here goes.

Author: Tonya Bolden
Illustrator: Eric Velasquez
Type: Fiction
 Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Publishing Year: 2014
Word Count: TBD
Picture Book Element: Theme

Summary: A young boy awoke. He forgot to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminated the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly made its way across the heavens, the boy offered a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

In January, I sat in Barnes and Noble, read this book, and bawled my eyes out. It has been awhile since I read a picture book and cried. And I hate to admit my experience, but this is true. From the moment I looked at the cover of this book, I was captivated. The boldness of the blue, the calligraphy of the title, and the praying child tugged my heart.

This book is amazing. The first spread has people walking through the city at night. The text on the page reads: The amber orb floats, washing the night with radiant glow. Stars hide. Only city lights glitter. It's not a silent night. Car horns beep and blare. There is music in the air. And someone calls out, "I love you!"

On the second spread, a little boy is crawling out of bed. The text reads: A little boy wakes up, scrambles out of bed, and drops to his knees. He forgot to say his prayers.

On the third spread, the little boy kneels, clasp his hands, and prays. The text reads: Just before he shuts his eyes, he spots a wonder in the sky. "What a beautiful moon," he whispers. Then he bows his head. 

Besides the beautiful illustration, the theme throughout this book is noted on every page - COMPASSION. There are sub themes as well. 


***Homelessness~ "Blocks away, a woman, bundled up, a park bench her bed, gazes at the beautiful moon, willing herself warm."

***WAR ~ "...The little boy prays for war to end."  

***SICKNESS ~ "...The little boy prays for the sick to be healed." 

***HUNGRINESS ~ "Around the corner, by the light of the beautiful moon, sad souls stare at bare kitchen cabinets, longing to see them stocked with rice and beans, noodles and peas, chicken soup and cereal."

"The little boy prays for people, little and big, to have the food they need." 

***COMMUNITY ~ The little boy goes on to pray for his grandmother, mother, father, turtle (cute), and teacher. 

And on the last spread, the little boys sleeps. The text reads: "He promises that when tomorrow night comes, he won't forget to pray. And the beautiful moon goes on its way."

I dabbed the corner of my eyes. The amazing illustration mixed with the poetic text put this book in a category all by itself. I love this book. 

What are you reading?


  1. Jackie, you share this book so well. I feel a bit tearful myself. What a wonderful prayer and the text and illustrations fit so well. I like the boy's prayers and how his heart encompasses so much more than just himself and his needs. Also, it is great that no specific religion is delineated, so we all can pray. Wonderful review!

  2. yes, this definitely covers the theme of compassion in such a heart-warming way. And many of the lines are very poetic.

  3. I absolutely love this book too. If you are looking for something new and similar, you should check out Last Stop on Market Street. Great review.

  4. Jackie, such a rich theme so richly shared. Every once in a while we find books that touch us and we laugh out loud or shed a tear. That only means that a writer has done their job and moved you as a reader. That only means that you have discovered not just a book, but a work of art. Great review and thanks for sharing.

  5. What a loving description of this beautiful book. All the compassion and love rings forth with your words and the outstanding illustrations. A fine review.

  6. What a wonderful and warm-hearted story, thank you for sharing Jackie. It covers a lot of important themes. I will need to find this one and make it a part of my home collection.

  7. Thanks for sharing this one. It would make a perfect gift!

  8. Great job! Love how shared it so well with the rest of us. I could definitely feel the emotion in this one.

    Hope you can join us for the final 6 days of the PB 14:14 event. :)

  9. A great reminder to kids and adults to wake up and remember others who face considerable challenges in their lives. Beautifully written and illustrated. Thanks for highlighting!