Moon in My Backyard: Moonday by Adam Rex
THE MOON HUNG FULL AND LOW.
AND TOUCHED THE TOP OF TREES.
WE WHISPERED WORDS LIKE BIG AND BEAUTIFUL.
THROUGH THE BACKSEAT WINDOW I FOLLOWED ITS LIGHT.
THEN I DRIFTED TO SLEEP....
In a dreamlike sequence, a sleeping child is carried to bed and wakes the next morning to find the moon, which had seemed to follow the family car on their nighttime drive, waiting in her backyard, huge and glowing.
In her robe and slippers Mom peers out, a bit perplexed, coffee cup in hand, from the back porch. Dad gives the girl a boost up. She stands in a small moon crater for a moment.
"I'M GOING TO HAVE A LOOK AROUND."
"OKAY," SAID MOM. "ZIP UP YOUR COAT."
The whole town finds that the moon has filled the day with it pale white light. At school Ms. Ellen, sleepy but still game, seizes the teachable moment to do a science lesson on the moon, looming outside the windows, but by math time the teacher gives in to the urge and takes a snooze, drowsily dismissing class first.
Everyone in town is yawning through the daylight-less day, until someone notices a consequence that really dampens their spirits. The tide is coming in--and in and in--into the town, down the streets, and turning the backyard into a lake.
"I COULD DO WITHOUT IT," SAID MOM.
Something must be done. Finally the girl has a thought.
"MAYBE WE COULD TAKE IT FOR A DRIVE."
Everyone remembers that moment when as a child we noticed that the moon followed us as we drove through the night, but only author-illustrator Adam Rex would come up with a gorgeous picture book with the answer to the question: "What would happen if the moon followed me home?" in his latest, Moonday (Hyperion, 2013).
In contrast to a dreamlike sequence of lovely images lighted by this persistent but beautiful moon, Rex provides plenty of visual humor--the teacher drowsing off, her head on her desk, the teenage garage band banging out heavy-metal lullabies, the family trying to dim the backyard moon by draping it with tablecloths and blankets so they can sleep, the dogs howling hoarsely at the never-setting moon, and Mom lamenting the loss of her favorite tablecloth after the family drives the moon back to its original spot above the hill.
Young readers will giggle and then ask, "Was it all a dream?" Publishers Weekly likens Rex's artwork to one of Edward Hopper's nightscapes and says, "It’s a suggestive account of the movements of the dreaming mind, and a gentle departure from Rex’s more madcap work."