How did I get it: The library.
Why did I read it: I’ve been wanting to read this picture book for awhile now.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
Up there in the sky.
Don’t you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon.
He wasn’t always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.
He was once a child.
Until a battle,
a shooting star,
and a lost balloon
sent him on a quest.
Meet the very first guardian of childhood.
MiM, the Man in the Moon.
Review: Normally I would consider doing a Picture Book Round-up since this sort of review tends to be on the short side. But in the case of the first book in William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood series, I think it is more than deserving of its own review.
Everything about this picture book is absolutely perfect. I love the steampunkish and dreamily nostalgic feel of the illustrations that are at once lively and comforting. Joyce really captures the Man in the Moon but other childhood guardians in such a charmingly whimsical way. There’s really great panels showing how the Moon Clipper becomes the moon, and the use of vivid colors throughout are wonderful.
I adore the reassuringly familiar aspects of the story. There is so much about the mood and tone of this book that reminds me of The Life and Times of Santa Claus, and I think it is great that new picture books are coming out about important childhood icons. The message of The Man in the Moon is sweet too. As MiM grows up, he works to find a way to help kids be less afraid of the dark and find comfort in the night-sky as he himself had to do.
In conclusion, fantastic and definitely one of my favorite picture books of 2011. I can’t wait to read Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King as well as all the books in the Guardians of Childhood series.