CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 4. . . .September 30, 2016
In The Moon Inside, young Ella is afraid of the night and the darkness it brings. Yellow, the colour of the sun, is her favourite colour. Throughout the story, Ella’s mother accompanies Ella as she turns on lights throughout the house and acknowledges Ella’s fears, but she then helps Ella to see and hear what the night offers, actions which lead to Ella’s appreciating the night.
The Moon Inside has a gentle feel to it. While in reality a child’s fears can be a source of frustration to a parent, the mother in this story is calm and understanding. Rather than telling Ella there’s nothing to be afraid of, she shows her. The mother takes Ella outside and asks her to look and listen. Ella sees the moon and fireflies, and she hears crickets and the wind in the trees. Through this experience, Ella finds comfort, rather than fear, in the night.
The illustrations in this book are interesting. Since yellow is Ella’s favourite colour, it is a predominant colour on most pages in everything from the wallpaper, Ella’s clothing, window coverings and flowers on the table. On the pages where the reader is shown what Ella presumably sees as she looks out on the night, young readers will easily identify familiar animals (deer, owls, rabbits, butterflies) and other aspects of nature. Many details in the images will lead to parent-child discussions (of similar toys to Ella’s, about Ella’s pet dog, the family portraits on the walls). These details all add to the gentle and calm feel of the book.
Overall, The Moon Inside is a charming book to which young readers will be able to relate even if they do not share Ella’s fear of the night, or of the dark.
Karyn Miehl, a mother of two and a secondary school English teacher, lives in Kingsville, ON.
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