105 Ways to Give a Book

Nonfiction Monday: Faces of the Moon

Every once in a while an obvious fact hits you in the face and alters your own perception of the world. Like when you (I) realized that the phrase wasn’t “for all intensive purposes” but instead “for all intents and purposes.” Then you (I) look over the past for all the times this fact came into play and was misunderstood by you (me).

Faces of the MoonThat’s how I felt after reading the nonfiction picture book Faces of the Moon, by Bob Crelin. The author takes us through the phases of the moon and how what we see in the sky is affected by the sun’s shining on the moon’s surface combined with the moon’s orbit. The cut-outs on the pages emphasize the moons shape though its cycle, and echo the dynamic cut-out on the book’s cover. All through the book, rhyming couplets describe the phases, with my favorite rivaling the whole Thirty days hath September bit:
Each changing face (or lunar phase)
repeats each nine-and-twenty days;
from thin to thick, from dark to light;
sometimes in day, sometimes at night.
The illustrations of Leslie Evans are created from linoleum block print and watercolor. They are lovely, but what captures me most about the pictures is the story that is told in them alongside the facts about the moon. It seems to be about a boy who is visiting a girl — a cousin? a sister? — in the countryside. He goes home to the city and they talk on the phone looking at the shared vision of the moon out their windows. Then at the end he comes back to the countryside, and they sit on the steps together. I found myself dying to know the story of these two kids, but I suppose that’s my fictional favoritism coming into play.

So what was my great revelation? While I knew about phases of the moon and why they happen and all that jazz, it never occurred to me that the specific phases are connected to particular times of day. For instance, the waning crescent moon rises hours before sunrise and sets in mid-afternoon which is why we always see that particular shape in the morning. Of course I noticed different shapes of the moon, but I never gave it a thought as to what shape appeared at what time of day. Totally eye-opening.

Anyway, this is a lovely, interesting book for kids — or oblivious adults — to find out more about the moon. And maybe to make up a story about the two kids in the picture, so there are some storytelling prospects mixed in as well. For more titles, check out Nonfiction Monday, hosted today at Moms Inspire Learning.

3 comments:

Vlad said...
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vanessa said...

My daughter has recently become "moon-obsessed"--we have to look for the moon every night and see what shape it is. I too had no idea about how the times of day related to its shape...looks like I need to pick this one up as much for my own learning as for hers!

We have enjoyed reading Sometimes Moon by Carole Lexa Shaefer--the little girl in the story compares the different moon phases to a concrete object in her life--a dory boat, a knitting basket, a baby's chubby cheeks, etc. Great for younger kids just starting to have an interest in the moon.

Liz said...

I once made up a story for my youngest child about "Moon Man," and how he would sometimes get covered up by the clouds. I'd spin this whole thing -- it's been more than a decade, so I can't remember the details, which would change upon occasion. Somehow she got up to the moon...

Thanks for reminding me of the story! Of course, it has nothing to do with your book. Sorry.