The Moon by Hannah Pang, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook

The Moon by Hannah Pang, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook. Caterpillar Books, 9781944530242, 2019

61ldSlop2oL._AC_UL320_Format: Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

What did you like about the book?  In this hybrid picture book/informational compendium, highly stylized illustrations complement lunar facts, folktales and history. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to know about the moon? It might be in here: How much gravity is there on the moon? Does the moon affect human fertility? What are the origins of the Man in the Moon? And so on. There is a table of contents, which makes it a bit easier to navigate the 175 pages and a glossary, with moon definitions and famous moon-related people. The digital illustrations are attractive and interesting, although slightly abstract for a nonfiction book.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I can’t figure out who the reader for this book might be. With no index and a bizarre organizational scheme, it’s not easy to find information. No sources are listed and I’m not sure that the content is always factual. A full moon led to more positive ions led to Bush defeating Gore? The French launched the first cat into space in 1963? The font is very small and difficult to read, which combined with the density of the prose and the scattershot approach to covering the topic made this a tough slog.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I can’t recommend it for library purchase. It’s too idiosyncratic to be widely read. Children interested in the moon would do better with a basic science book with photos while teen readers would probably prefer a more streamlined book, focused on one of these subjects.

Who should buy this book? I think the target audience is supposed to be middle school.

Where would you shelve it? 523.3

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: April 26, 2019

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