Nobody Owns the Moon by Tohby Riddle

Nobody Owns the Moon by Tohby Riddle. Berbay Publishing, 2021. 9780994384195

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Fantasy/picture book

What did you like about the book? This wry, bittersweet picture book is about two friends struggling to make it in the city. Clive, a fox, is “one of the only wild creatures in the world that can successfully make a life for itself in cities.” He works in a factory doing the same thing every day, and gets up to more “foxy things” at night. He is friends with Humphrey, a homeless donkey, who is adapting less successfully to life in the city. One day, the friends come upon lost tickets to the theatre. They see a show – “Nobody Owns the Moon,” and enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and a slice of cake. The friends feel like they own the town.

There is wry humor in the story of two friends, one a working stiff and one who is homeless, enjoying a lucky bit of the high life in the big city. The illustrations have collage elements, including old photographs, that create a historical feel, along with iconic 1950’s clothing and handbills. This is a story for older readers who enjoy the feel of of retro images with wry humor.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I really enjoyed the book, which is like a picture book length New Yorker cartoon in a way, but, as such, may be more appealing to adult readers.

To whom would you recommend this book? For older picture book readers and adults who like quirky stories.

Who should buy this book? An additional purchase for public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: November 27, 2021

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