Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Moon Jumpers

The Moon Jumpers
Janice May Udry ~ Maurice Sendak ~ Harper & Row, 1959


A true classic in the best sense of the word, this book encapsulates a child's sense of wonder about shadows and the mysteries of night. Illustrated by the master himself with words by the author of the Caldecott Award-winning A Tree is Nice, it couldn't be more magical if it was sprinkled with fairy dust and make entirely of mermaid hair.

"We climb the tree just to be in a tree at night."

I don't recall ever having this one when I was little, but for me, its a true illustration of how I remember childhood, all mysterious and huge.

"We jump and jump, over and over, and higher and higher.
But nobody has ever touched the moon."


For my own son's childhood, this book is exactly what I strive for, letting him explore and wonder without feeling the threats of the world. Just running and laughing and playing with the trees and the moon and the dark.

Splendid, really.

Also by:
Also by:
A Very Special House
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
Moon Jumpers
What Do You Say, Dear?
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale
Some Swell Pup
Let's Be Enemies
Chicken Soup with Rice
Lullabies and Night Songs
Outside Over There
I'll Be You and You Be Me
The Juniper Tree
Where the Wild Things Are
Seven Little Monsters
Open House For Butterflies
Dear Mili
In the Night Kitchen
The Giant Story
A Tree is Nice

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4 comments:

Karen said...

This is my very favorite nostalgic summer-as-a-kid book. The illustrations bring you right into the experience of memories of those outdoor summer nights with the cousins and the friends in the dark moonlit yard. I didn't discover it until y own child was 6 or 7, in the mid-1990's, and I thank goodness that the library had not pulled it for a discard. Of course I had to have a copy, and love that it will always be mine. The Sendak in this is simple, but so spot on.

Wendy said...

Remembering this book has been haunting me for the last month. Not in a bad way, just like I need to reread it for some reason. I just found your blog and am in heaven! You've brought back so many good memories :) Thank you.

Jess said...

My mother read this to us and used the line "Children , oh children, it's time." to call us in from our play in the dark, which made it all the more magical somehow - things that were in books could be magic and real at the same time, just like the night.

Jess said...

My mother read this to us and used the line "Children, oh children, it's time." to call us in from our nightime play. Which made it all the more magical, mixing together the book and the night and the ritual. As an adult I sometimes look back across the yard at my house with light spilling out from the patio door and am tempted to call out "Children, oh children, it's time", in the cool dark absence.

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