Has the moon ever followed you home at night?
Max loves his grandpa. When they must say good-bye after a visit, Grandpa reminds Max that the moon above them at Grandpa's house is the same moon that will follow him all the way home. And on that swervy-curvy car ride back home Max smiles as the moon tags along, thinking of Grandpa. But when the sky darkens and the moon disappears behind clouds, Max worries that it did not follow him home after all. Yet when the clouds part and light streams through his window, he realizes that Grandpa was right--the moon was with him all along.
Floyd Cooper received the Coretta Scott King Award for The Blacker the Berry, two Coretta Scott King Honors for Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land, and an NAACP image award. In Max and the Tag-Along Moon, his lush paintings perfectly capture the wonder of the moon, the love between grandfather and grandson, and that feeling of magic every child experiences when the moon follows him home.
It's hard to leave Granpa's house, but he has a promise for young Max: the "big fine moon" in the sky "will always shine for you... on and on!" Granpa seems right for most of the "swervy-curvy" trip home--which is beautifully captured by the velvety textures, luminous palette, and curvilinear shapes of Cooper's spreads. Then storm clouds turn the sky dark, and in Max's anxious face it's easy to see that he's wondering whether the loneliness and disappointment brought on by the moon's disappearance means something about his own world, too: what happens when someone he love disappears? Many authors would have brought in another adult to help Max mediate his feelings, but Cooper (Brick by Brick) gives the boy room to think, so that when moon reappears, Max has a deeper understanding of what Granpa's promise means: love, like the moon's light, goes "on and on." Writing in poetic, evocative prose, Cooper offers just the right amount of support to the lush illustrations and the thoughtful, observant hero. Ages 3-7. (June)Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS-K—A big, round moon shines down on a boy and his grandfather as they share a good-bye hug, and Granpa tells Max, "That ol' moon will always shine for you...on and on." The child keeps an eye on the moon on the long drive home, spying it in the side mirror of his family's car and through branches above him. Over hills and bridges, past sleeping cows, and through a quiet town, it is always in view. Then, when dark clouds hide it, Max feels its absence. It reappears as he is going to sleep, and he throw his hands in the air with joy at the shining orb that "will always shine for me... on and on!" A lovely comforting story for children who don't like good-byes, the quiet text flows along, and the soft, diffuse paintings make the book a wonderful bedtime read-aloud. The full moon is a friendly presence on each spread, and the varied vantage points incorporate soothing imagery, such as a bird silhouetted against the sky. Signs with arrows point the way home, reassuring readers that despite the lengthy trip, Max is heading in the right direction. His face is expressive, clearly conveying his varied emotions, from wonder to happiness and wistfulness. Perfect for one-on-one readings.—Marian McLeod, Darien Library, CTCopyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"Coretta Scott King Award-winning Cooper has created a gentle, comforting story that will reassure children that those who love us are always with us."
"Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle's mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story's lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece. A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson."