The children’s book Beautiful Moon by Tonya Bolden and illustrated by Eric Velasquez is a short story of a child who remembers to say his prayers before going to sleep. A full moon hangs outside his window. He prays for his family as well as for those in need.
The great thing about this book is that even though the main character is praying, it has no specific religious persona or aspect emanating from it, so children of any denomination will be able to easily relate to it. The prayer is that of a child, straight from the heart, filled with good intentions and without stanza. Its displays the importance of prayer used for those in need. Beautiful Moon is a great book to read to older children as a bedtime story since it is mellow and the pictures are not extremely bright and active.
Since the books prayer themes are of homelessness and poverty etc. it’s not the type of book that would be considered suitable for children less than 8 years of age. Due to the prayers themes it may be difficult to for a child younger then 8 years old to understand, and some children may find the images slightly sad or depressing. A mother may end up spending more time explaining a lot of world issues to their younger children then it would take to read the book itself. The book has no rhythmic stanzas so it would not be as entertaining to younger children. The pictures are not bright and cheery, so young children may not have an easy time keeping their attention and may easily become bored. This book is a great visual example of the need, or power of prayer of any kind before going to sleep. The mellow aura of the book requires a child with patience to read it.
Eric Velasquez paints the illustrations in this children’s book. They are large, detailed, and it is obvious that much time was spent to illustrate the story. The paintings do have a lot of negative space where more could have been written or illustrated. The imagery portrays emotion and gets the reaction that the writer is trying to provoke from the reader: the importance of the need to pray for the people in those images.
The book itself is made with children in mind. It’s a hardcover book, which is large and thin, contributing to its light weight. The size is somewhat unusual and may not fit in a typical bookshelf, but is large enough stand out and to catch a child’s (or parents’) eye. The slipcover is made to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear with an acrylic gloss type coating on it. The image on the slipcover is the exact same as that on the hard cover underneath which is great in case the child misplaces the slipcover. The binding is very sturdy, and the pages of the book are thicker then most average book paper so it seems a bit tougher to rip and also seems to be coated with an acrylic coating so that it helps to save the pages from minor water or other liquid damage that may occur from the mishaps of a child.
Ultimately Beautiful Moon is a great book geared for slightly older children. It will withstand the wear and tear of a child and time.
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