If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

If you were the moon, what would you do? Would you just lollygag up there in the sky, lazily rotating about your axis once every 27 days, never showing your dark side to your mama?

“Helloooooo up there, moon! I’m sooooo tired.

I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you.”


“But I do so many things, child.

And if you were me, you would too.”

And with those words, we enter into the moon’s world and learn just how busy lunar life can be.

“If you were the moon you would…”

“hover near your mother.”

{Scientists believe the moon formed 4.5 billion years ago when a meteorite the size of Mars collided with the newly formed Earth. Rock from Earth and the meteorite splashed into  space, and the moon was born.}

“Help keep her in balance.”

{The Earth wobbles as it spins. The moon’s gravity, the force that pulls other things closer, reaches out like an invisible pair of hands to steady the Earth. Without the moon, Earth’s wobble would be wilder! Extreme swings from scorching heat to frigid cold would destroy most life on our planet.}

This lovely mix of lyricism and factual information on each spread shows us just how busy and important the moon is to those of us enjoying our stay on Mother Earth.

Illustrations by Jaime Kim glow with bedtime hues of gold and blue and make the moon a benevolent and loving presence. I think my favorite is the title page, where that wee little moon is twirling like a ballerina in a tutu.

With it’s dual story elements, this book will play well with wee tots as well as with the older crowd who want to know more about that gorgeous glowing orb in our night sky. Salas also includes a glossary, a list of moon-related books for further reading, and a thank you to an expert (an astrophysicist) for reviewing the text and layout for accuracy, something we’re seeing more often in new children’s nonfiction.

Title: If You Were the Moon

Author: Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrator: Jaime Kim

Publisher: Millbrook Press, Lerner Publishing Group, 2017

Ages: 2-8

Check out Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday for more recommendations.

23 thoughts on “If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Johnny Crabcakes says:

    When I read “rotating about your axis once every 27 days”, my first thought was, “But she doesn’t rotate at all, that’s why….ooooohh. Guess that’s a very geocentric thing to think.
    So many ways to think about it. So many ways to view it.
    Hrmmm. I think there’s a poem in there.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yay! She does have a terrific backlist! And I’m going to be looking for more books featuring this illustrator as well. I love the color palette and expressive qualities of the illustrations in this book.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      The book should be considered informational fiction, coupled with paragraphs of straight facts, because the moon is personified. Personally, I like the term “faction” better, since it’s easier to say, but the industry uses “informational fiction.” Creative nonfiction uses the tools of fiction (story arc, metaphor, onomatopoeia, lyrical language, etc.) without making anything up. In creative nonfiction, the moon would not be personified and smiling down on the child in the illustrations or be heard talking to the child. The author would be more likely to make use of similes, instead. Stacy McAnulty’s “Earth, My First 4.54 Billion Years” is another example of informational fiction.

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