Moonman, Ned Barraud
book review by Trevor Agnew
Moonman (2014) Ned Barraud text & ill, Craig Potton Publishing, 38pages, paperback, NZ$19.99
“Under twinkling stars he takes his broom and sweeps the moon until it’s clean and gleaming.”
This elegant picture book asks what the man-in-the-moon might think of the “mysterious blue planet” he can see each night. Intrigued, Moonman hitches a ride with a shooting star and lands with a crash in a tree. “The blue planet is nothing like he’d imagined.” Alarmed by the darkness, and the eyes of night creatures, Moonman is heartened by the sight of his familiar moon shining above the mountains. Reassured, he frolics among the grass and flowers.
Then Moonman has a new shock. “A ball of fire rises in the sky.” Burned by the sun’s rays, Moonman seeks refuge in a deep cave until his familiar moon rises again. “How will I ever get home?” asks the homesick Moonman.
Fortunately a helpful owl carries him up into the sky, where a passing star can carry him back to the moon. There Moonman sweeps the moon and then lies in bed wondering about “a beautiful red glow he can see among the stars.
The author’s illustrations are elegant and restrained, especially those showing scenes of darkness. Moonman is an appealing angular character not afraid to show his feelings. This picture-book provides a simple introduction to the stars and planets and, of course, to the caretaker of the moon.
Recent edition info:Moonman (2014 Ned Barraud text & ill, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson NZ, 38pages
Paperback: ISBN 978 1 927213 27 8
Hardback: ISBN 978 1 927213 28 5
Trevor Agnew7 Jan 2015