Perfect Picture Book Friday-Willoughby and the Moon

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list if you scroll down past the category list. Now for my choice for Perfect Picture Book Friday—
Willoughby and the Moon
 Written and Illustrated by Greg Foley
 Themes: Childhood fears, friendship, moon
Synopsis: Every night, the moon outside Willoughby’s window gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller . . . until one night it disappears!But Willoughby isn’t afraid of the dark. Not really. He just wants to know where the moon went. When he finds it in the most surprising place, he sets off on a magical adventure and meets a new friend who seems to be scared of lots of things—moon buggy rides, space pods, big rocks. . . . But it’s Willoughby who has to overcome his own biggest fear in order to help his friend.

Resources: Creative Writing: Have child write about a fear. Have child write about finding new friends. Have child write about what imaginary friend they would like to find on the moon. Science: Moon resources: These are excellent for learning the phases of the moon.  Moon Phases CalendarShapes of the MoonExcellent Moon Simulation. This site shows the moon landings: Google Moon. Art: Use the website HERE for instructions for painting on tin foil. Using black tempra paint to resemble illustrations in book, have kids paint the giant snail or other items from the book. Or have them paint what creature they would like to see if they set off on an adventure to the moon.

Why I Like This Book: This is probably the first book I have reviewed where the illustrations captured my attention even more than the text…and they completely captivated me. Fellow 12 x 12er, Carter Higgins, discusses the illustrations HERE on her blog, Design of the Picture Book. You really should head over and see Carter’s site. She shows the back cover of the book, too, which is a treat. Here is a blurb from her description of Willoughby and the Moon. “This book made me do a double take. It’s slightly unassuming, but then, just in the right light, it sparkles. The illustrations are primarily black and white, but rivers of glossy silver pack quite a visual punch. The pages are rich in texture; the silver shines alongside its matte black and white counterparts. Also, in addition to flat color, halftone patterns pepper the shadows for an extra layer of lovely. In design, contrast refers to the differences in two elements. Black versus white is a stark, simple, and highly effective design choice.

If you choose to read others reviews of the story, a lot of readers seem to think, as I do, that the story is a bit different. From Kirkus: “strangely comforting and beautiful.”  I’m not sure if I can even explain how it happened…but I ended up being satisfied that in one imaginative night, a curious Willoughby faced his worst fear by helping a giant snail he befriended on the moon. See, you’re probably saying, “Now what?” You’ll just have to read it and see if you share my feelings about the book.

11 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-Willoughby and the Moon

  1. Like you, I was captivated by the cover! Just by looking at it, I was reminded of the works by Chris Van Allsburg and Brian Selznick (the picture of the man on the moon, in particular, from The Invention of Hugo Cabret!). I like the storyline. It’s interesting how life tests our courage, don’t you think? To be brave for the sake of someone who fears just as much as you do seems like one heck of a challenge. I like your creative writing activity. Allows children to discover more about themselves, and helps them have a certain grasp of their fears. Lovely, lovely picture book! Thanks for sharing, Penny! 🙂


  2. Well your review and enthusiasm (and Carter’s) have persuaded me to move this towards the top of my TBR pile, if nothing else, I am totally intrigued! Black and white and silver sound magical.


  3. I like unusual books. And, I like the idea of child trying to figure out why the moon disappeared, facing fears. From your description is does sound captivating. Great choice of activities. Very creative.


  4. This sounds like a wonderful book, Penny! I’m so glad you shared it. I actually picked it up in the library the other day, but then got distracted when the librarian came to chat and never read it! Now I know I’d better go back and rectify that 🙂


  5. I have to agree about the illustrations. When I saw the cover of this book my jaw dropped. Your review is fabulous, of course, but that cover alone makes me want to read the book. Great choice!


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