Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Man and the Moon: Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

Eric Carle's beautiful Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me is usually viewed as a book about the lunar cycle, with its fantasy story of the dutiful dad who tries to give his little girl the full moon, only to be forced to wait until it shrinks to a manageable-enough size to retrieve.

But this story can just as easily be viewed as a story with a sentiment which makes it well suited for Father's Day as well.

Before Monica went to bed, she looked out of her window and saw the moon. The moon looked so near.

"I wish I could play with the moon," said Monica.

"Papa," said Monica, "please get the moon for me."

Papa got a very long ladder. He carried the very long ladder toward a very high mountain. Then Papa put the very long ladder on top of the very high mountain. Up and up he climbed.

Perhaps all proud papas have moments of wishing to give their daughters the moon, but this devoted dad actually fetches a fantastic ladder and mounts it to the very surface of the full moon, where he sees that the moon is much too massive to manage by himself. But the wise old moon counsels patience, promising to shrink until he is the proper size for a plaything.

And Monica is pleased with her little crescent moon and plays with it happily as it wanes until it suddenly vanishes from sight altogether. Saddened, little Monica watches the place in the sky where the moon once soared.

Then one night, Monica saw a thin sliver of the moon reappear.

Each night the moon grew... and grew... and grew.

A loving father who longs to give his daughter her heart's desire not only does so, but also gives her a gift which continues to delight forever. It's a beautiful thought, beautifully executed. Carle practically invented the modern book-as-toy, and this one, with its four-page gatefold which shows the dad carrying a ladder so long it continues off the left and right-hand pages, shows his skill in creative book design with vertical flaps which open upward and downward to reveal Papa's climb up to the moon and back down to Earth with his prize.

Aglow with Carle's distinctive technique and palette, it's a lovely book with a lovely message for fathers.

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  • This book really looks interesting ! I am curious to know more about it...

    By Anonymous Term Paper, at 6:38 AM  

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