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The Loon on the Moon

Posted on Jun 28, 2010

Chae Strathie (text) & Emily Golden (illustrations)

(Scholastic)

The Loon, a creature which ressembles a mad-looking blue rabbit, lives on the moon and every night he collects children’s dreams which he then uses as “dream steam” to power the engines that light the lightbulbs that make the moon glow! But one evening he zooms down to Earth only to find out that all the children’s dreams have dried out. He needs to find dream steam elsewhere so he visits the Moptops on Mercury, then the Noodles on Neptune, and the inhabitants of each planet of our solar system. But it is to no avail, as nobody has any dream steam left. So the next evening, only half the moon is light up, and the evening after that only a quarter, until finally on the third night, the light on the moon goes out altogether. The Loon is very sad but, not to be defeated, he decides to try a new idea: he writes down the tales of his search for dream steam across the galaxy in several books and then leaves one book for each child. And lo and behold, after the children have read his stories, they soon start dreaming again about The Loon’s wonderful adventures and encounters and all is soon back in order!

What a great story this is! There is so much to take from it. The illustrations are really refreshing, bright, fun and quite unusual, which suits the story perfectly. This is first and foremost an ode to bedtime stories and the power they hold. Who could disagree that stories help create the magic of dreams and dreams are a such a powerful thing?  
But this story also introduces a little bit of astronomy in a really fun way as the Loon visits all the planets of our solar system.
There are also plenty of aliens to look at and pour over, which will delight fans of wacky creatures and other extra-terrestrials!

Finally, I particularly liked the explanation given for the moon cycles and eclipses; I thought it was very sweet and will undoubtedly fill little readers with wonder.
I am always on the lookout for picture books which promote books, reading ot storytelling and this news addition to my collection does not disappoint. It is very original both in its text and artwork and will appeal to little astronomers, alien-admirers, budding writers and fun-loving little bookworms everywhere.  
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