Review of Thank You, Moon: Celebrating Nature’s Nightlight

Celebrating Nature’s NightlightThank You, Moon: Celebrating Nature’s Nightlight
by Melissa Stewart; illus. by Jessica Lanan
Primary    Knopf    48 pp.
10/23    9780593435076    $18.99
Library ed.  9780593435083    $21.99
e-book ed.  9780593435090    $11.99

An offstage narrator speaks directly to the moon, expressing thanks for the light it provides, and sometimes doesn’t, to the inhabitants of Earth at night. Most animals (and one plant)—including such land animals as dung beetles and nightjars, and sea creatures, such as zooplankton and corals—benefit from the brighter phases, when moonlight allows them to see their food or a clear path to safety. Others, including lions and kangaroo rats, benefit from the darker phases, when a lack of light provides cover to sneak up on their prey or hide from their predators. An emotive main text (“Thank you for guiding tiny turtles to the sea”) is accompanied by a secondary text where scientific explanations are detailed. The illustrations of moonlit land and seascapes are perfectly matched to both texts, including scientifically accurate representations of light interacting with the environment and changes in the moon across different lunar phases. The art also skillfully contrasts glowing light and tonal variations within darkness to emphasize the beauty of low-light landscapes. At the end of the book, two diagrams present the basics about moon phases and the path of reflected light from sun to moon to Earth. Facts about the featured animals are also included, as are selected sources and a brief bibliography.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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