The Moon Shines Down
By Margaret Wise Brown
This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book was lost for over fifty years, and recently discovered in a Vermont barn. The original manuscript was written by Margaret Wise Brown, but since the manuscript was too short, it was added to by Laura Minchew, a children’s book publisher and a fan of Brown.
It’s singsong style and bold, colorful illustrations are endearing. However, the rhymes that did not rhyme grated on my nerves. Some examples are “asleep” and “country”; “East,” “sleep,” and “speak”; “dream” and “things.” Either make a rhyming book or just write prose. Don’t say it’s a rhyming book if it doesn’t truly rhyme!
Another factor I questioned was the use of the word “kids” in place of children. Because Margaret Wise Brown lived from 1910 to 1952, I doubt she used the word “kids” in her writing. In trying to appeal to modern readers, I think the newer text lost the flavor of Brown’s original writing.
Different cultures of the world are wonderfully represented in both the manuscript and illustrations by Linda Bleck, an award winning artist. From Holland to Japan, from Africa to Australia, the moon shines down on each boy and girl. Every poem ends with the familiar and comforting, “I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.”
In spite of my two little issues, I would recommend this book for young children. They will enjoy the vibrant colors and the cadence of the rhymes.
-- Jeanette Levellie
4 years ago