Published by Harper Collins, 2020.
The Moon Keeper is a beautiful picture book about a polar bear called Emile who is given the task of looking after the moon.
On the first night of his duties the moon is full. Over the next few evenings, Emile enjoys the stillness of the night spent talking to the moon. Occasionally he is required to chase away fruit bats who fly too close to the moon or hoover up clouds that threaten to obscure it. However, after a while, Emile notices that the moon is starting to shrink. Over the coming nights, it grows thinner and thinner until it is nothing more than a thread. Eventually, it disappears completely. This causes him to worry until a kind bird explains to him how the moon comes and goes.
The gouache paint and colour pencil illustrations are charming and atmospheric. I enjoyed the subtle details such as how the shape of Emile’s partially nibbled biscuit mirrors the shape of the moon as it begins to wane. Later, when the moon is crescent shaped, it’s echoed by the slice of water melon in Emile’s paw.
I love how the book explores the phases of the moon with young children in such a delightful way. The Moon Keeper is a celebration of the magnificence of the moon and the cyclical nature of the natural world.
The book also shares a gentle message about impermanence and offers reassurance to young children who are troubled by separation anxiety, particularly at bedtime; Emile learns that just because you can’t always see something it doesn’t mean it isn’t still there.
The Moon Keeper is a gentle, comforting book that is perfect for bedtime reading.
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me this book to review.