BWW Review: A KITE FOR MOON by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, and Matt Phelan
Today (July 20, 2019) marks the 50th anniversary of NASA and Apollo 11 landing on the moon for the very first time, so it felt like the perfect day to share my review of one of my favorite discoveries at this year's Book Expo Convention, A KITE FOR MOON by Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi E.Y. Stemple, with illustrations by Matt Phelan. The book is dedicated to Neil Armstrong and the first moon landing, which makes it even more perfect!
The moon and stars have always fascinated me and I was always intrigued by astronomy. So many kids want to be an astronaut when they're little, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep that dream alive. A KITE FOR MOON revolves around a boy's relationship with the moon, and all that he does in order to grow up and become an astronaut.
Elements of this book reminded me of the beloved story THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein, where the boy makes a promise to the lonely moon, and she watches him grow up from afar. When I turned the final page of this book, I immediately turned to my conference roommates at our hotel and made them read this as well because the story had an emotional impact and I had to talk about it with someone else. I'm sincerely hoping it gets recognized next January during Awards Season.
The illustrations are lovely and beautiful to look at as well. Phelan was very thoughtful when adding subtle elements into the artwork, such as a kite on the beach the looks like a conch shell! I love when the illustrations are as powerful as the story, because it keeps me more engaged, and I'm likelier to re-read and recommend the tale, especially if it also keeps the kids intrigued!
This picture book is a perfect story to read for fun or to pull out at story time. It is a great accompaniment to a lesson plan about the moon or NASA or astronauts, or even a lesson about working hard and following your dream.