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MOONLIGHT by Helen V. Griffith


by Helen V. Griffith & illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-203285-0
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

A sleepy rabbit hops to his burrow just before the moon appears to cast its light on trees, mountains and streams.

Quatrains with alternating rhyme set a lulling rhythm that evokes the dark, dreamy nighttime world captured in Dronzek’s murky, chunky acrylic illustrations. Unabashed strokes of yellow moonlight highlight dusky scenes, while solid lines carve out sweetly sleeping animals snug in their homes. Craggy rocks rise distinctly behind mountain goats; a resolute ring of trees circles resting meadow deer; round-eyed raccoons peer innocently out from their hollow tree. Warmth emanates from pages dominated by rather gloomy blues, greens, grays, browns and purples, thanks to the animals’ gentle curvatures and benign expressions. Moonlight coats everything like butter, according to the poem, and some readers might find this repeated analogy slippery. Sleek actions words (slide, skim, skid, skip, sucks, skitter, slip, seeps) and their slithery consonants suggest something slighter, stealthier—something less thick and drippy than butter. When moonlight finally falls inside rabbit’s hole, it coats his pleasingly punchy radish, strawberry and flower dreams with butter. Their cheery brightness elevates this book’s somnolent mood for a final frolic: Rabbit wakes up raring for a moondance under the skies.