Saturday, 7 February 2015

Bringing Down the Moon by Jonathan Emmett

Bringing Down the Moon is an enchanting, picture book tale which concerns a young mole, who climbs from his hole one night to be dazzled by a full moon. Thinking he just must have it, he ventures to get it; first by jumping for it, then by poking at it with a stick, then by tossing acorns at it. With each attempt, he manages to wake up another forest creature: a rabbit, a hedgehog, and a squirrel. They all agree with Mole that the moon is beautiful but warn him that “It’s not as close as it looks.”

The tale is beautifully told using patterned language and clear sequencing. The story is enhanced by the richness of Vanessa Cabban's illustrations.

Bringing Down the Moon would be a lovely read aloud book for foundation stage as part of a topic on Nighttime. The children will really enjoy hearing about mole's attempts to capture the moon. The repeated phrase 'You'll never do that,' said.....'It's not as near as it looks.' will encourage the children to participate. Because of its clear and repetitive structure, once familiar with the story 3-5 year olds will readily pick up this book and play read. The rich watercolour illustrations beautifully depict night time. Very young children though will need an adult led discussion to understand the sequential nature of the pages that are split into four frames. 

These, for older readers, depict a sequence of events but many children in foundation stage will 'read' these images as four separate and individual moles.

For children in Key Stage 1, there is plenty to support their language and literacy development. Throughout the story there are numerous examples of onomatopoeia as mole desperately attempts to 'bring down the moon': thump, bump, swish, plink and splash. When mole meets each of the characters there is a simple conversation between the two of them which clearly model the use of direct speech, which could easily be differentiated from those beginning to demarcate speech with the inverted commas to those who are ready to develop their use of internal punctuation. In terms of story structure, it is a 'quest' story where mole makes several endearing attempts at obtaining what is, as all his friends know, the impossible. Being a short picture book story makes it ideal as a text to explore story structure and a model on which to base their own stories. The theme of the story is also suitable for Key Stage one: that of resilience or never giving up.

A beautiful book.

Author: Jonathan Emmett
Illustrator: Vanessa Cabban
Publisher: Walker Books
Date of Publication: 2001
ISBN: 978-0-7445-8950-4


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