Finding Monkey MoonElizabeth Pulford,
illustrated by Kate Wilkinson
Walker Books NZ$28
Finding Monkey Moon is writer Elizabeth Pulford’s 61st children’s book and illustrator Kate Wilkinson’s first book. Between them, the two have created a masterpiece.
Elizabeth Pulford’s story tells of Michael’s favourite toy monkey found missing at bedtime and how he and his father search for it, even returning to the park.
“Don’t be scared, Monkey Moon,” Michael cries out. “I’m coming.”
Kate Wilkinson’s elegant and touching illustrations show the two searching by torchlight in the wintry darkness, “their breaths fluttering like moths in the cold air.”
As they search among the dark trees, the beautiful pictures have emotional impact, capturing both the boy’s concern for his toy and the father’s caring love for his son.
The last picture shows the two, their search successful, returning home. We see that Michael is carrying Monkey Moon, just as his father carried him.
“There you go, young fella,” says Michael.
This review originally appeared in Fairfax Newspapers in September 2015