Sing to the moon
Sing to the moon
Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, Illus. Sandra Van Doorn. London: Lantana Publishing, hb. 978 1 9113 7339 1, 2018, £12.99, 32pp.
Picture book, 4-8 years
It is raining – nothing to do, boring. If only there were wishes that can transport you to different exciting places. But you don’t need magic; you just need a loving grandfather and imagination to create and share what will be the most enjoyable of days ending at bedtime with the gentle instruction to “Sing to the moon”.
This is the second partnership between this author and illustrator, both equally talented and it does not disappoint. Sometimes the imagination really does outstrip reality, and reality becomes drab and boring. This is especially the case when even if one has sung to the moon to have a wish granted but now “the clouds spread like a charcoal stain”. But this is not the end of the story – or of wishes. Even ordinary everyday objects can become extraordinary with a little encouragement from a grandfather who uses memories to bring the present alive. While this trope may not be unique, here it is brought to vivid life by the illustrations where the colours create the atmosphere though the images themselves are grounded. The effect is a subtle juxtaposition that ensures the young reader can make such a journey for themselves; you do not need to believe in unicorns or wish for extraordinary events to have an imaginative life.
Above all, the author and illustrator deftly present a special loving relationship where it is the memory of a past that is inspiring and informing a young present- though even the child can bring something new to the table. Here we see new memories being formed. The gentle rhyming text provides a perfect partnership to the illustrations carrying the reader through the day to that final admonition.
Review by FΜΗ