Monday, January 12, 2009

The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown

The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated By: Linda Bleck
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: November 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1400312993

The Story Behind the Lost Manuscript...

The Moon Shines Down
from author MARGARET WISE BROWN,
the Author of Goodnight Moon

The Moon Shines Down is being published for the first time fifty-six years after the death of the beloved children's author Margaret Wise Brown.

Amazingly, this unpublished manuscript lay forgotten in a cedar trunk in a Vermont barn. When it wsa discovered, the onionskin paper had yellowed and the paperclips that held the pages together had rusted.

Based on the New England sampler prayer, "God Bless the Moon and God Bless Me," this soon-to-be classic is a prayer for God's blessing on the all the world's children.

However, the manuscript was incomplete, too short for a standard size picture book. Children's book publisher, Laura Minchew, a longtime fan of Brown, took on the challenge to complete the work. Laura was able to match Margaret Wise Brown's writing style, capturing Brown's unique rhythms and rhyme schemes.

The wonder result you hold in your hands introduces a timeless Margaret Wise Brown book to delight a new generation of children the world over.

It's an honor to have been given the opportunity to review this book. As a HUGE fan of Brown's Goodnight Moon, I was really excited to see what Brown had instore for her readers with this newly discovered book. Though initially it started off really strong for me, it felt like with the progression of the book (and I'm assuming where Brown's portion left off and Michew began filling in) it got weaker. The story itself was still fairly consistant, but the rhyming and rhythm seemed to come up short.

Overall I found the story to be quite a pleasant read; opening up the discussion floor to discuss even simple prayers with your child. It was also fun to see so many different regions and countries featured. What a great way to introduce a child to other cultures, even if, albeit, in a very minute fashion. This would be the perfect book for reading at any time of day. If you asked me, I'd say that right before bedtime seems to be the most ideal opportunity to curl up with this one. Your children can relax with the sing song stanzas, enjoy the bright and bold illustrations that accompany them, and then you can use it as a jumping board to head right in to bedtime prayers.

Not my favorite book by Margaret Wise Brown. A good one though, certainly worth having been brought to life. And, please don't think that I'm trashing Michew when I say that I think the later half of the book was less than perfect. I do think that it didn't quite make it when compared to Browns' earlier portions, yet let's be honest. Can you imagine how hard it must be to try and complete someone else's manuscript? Then add to that the pressure of said manuscript belonging to someone so talented, amazing, and widely popular as Brown. No, Michew can't be faulted. She's not Brown, but she never claimed to be. Her attempt to complete this manuscript was a huge task, and I think that she did a pretty good job, all thing considered.

OUR RATING: 4 hearts

1 comment:

B. Ann Envelope said...

you really should read about Amy Gary the women that "discovered" MWB unfinished work some 20 odd years ago- (not that recent)in MWB's sisters house. Roberta (MWB's sister)for some unknown reason gave Gary permission to control publishing some of the work- I personally find it offensive that anything that MWB didn't feel ready for publishing has made it to press-