Moonman (2014) Ned Barraud text & illustrations, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, 38 pages, paperback, NZ $20
Ned Barraud, best known for his naturalistic wildlife illustrations, has produced an elegantly stylised fable about the man in the moon. Moonman leads a simple life on the moon. “Under twinkling stars he takes his broom and sweeps the moon until it’s clean and gleaming.” Each night he sees the blue glow of a mysterious planet. Curious, he hitches a ride on a falling star and crashes into a new and alarming world - Earth.
Young readers will enjoy seeing Moonman’s response to the Earth objects that they are familiar with. (Mushrooms alarm him; grass tickles his toes.) Then Moonman faces the tricky problem of returning to his home. Fortunately one of his new Earth friends is able to help and the story ends well, with Moonman planning a new adventure.
Using phrases like “caretaker extraordinaire,” Barraud’s prose is a little complicated for the young readers who will most appreciate his book but they will certainly enjoy having it read to them. The illustrations are a delight.
This review was first published in Your Weekend magazine on 25 April 2015.
Full publishing details:Moonman (2014 Ned Barraud text & ill, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, 38pp
Paperback: ISBN 978 1 927213 27 8
Hardback: ISBN 978 1 927213 28 5