What might a moonchild look like? Well, he might have eyes as big as saucers. And one night he might be looking out through his telescope from his white, white world (otherwise very much like ours, with a rotary washing line planted in a crater and his own skateboard) and long for the colours of the blue-green earth. He might be wild enough to go there, whatever Mrs Moon might say. He might be lucky enough to meet Eliza, who would watch with him through the dark night until morning brings yellow sunlight and blue sky. Then she might show him how to capture all the colours and shapes that come after so that he can take them home to show his mum. And then he would be in this perfect picture book.
Emma Chichester Clark conjures memories of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Tomi Ungerer’s Moon Man , stories preoccupied, among other things, with (masculine?) questions of rage, fear, and power. Yet, like Anthony Browne’s Gorilla or Kit Wright’s Tigerella (sadly out of print), it tells a rather different (feminine?) tale, equally mysterious but in brighter colours, of the celebration of nature; the care of each other; the fascination of beauty; and the source of art. Above all, like its illustrious predecessors, it doesn’t require you (or the child you share the story with) to worry about any of that, or whether the moonchild is the imaginary friend of lonely Eliza whose earthly paradise is actually rather precarious. Just enjoy a gentle, funny and touching story told in brilliant words and pictures.