When I saw the title of Eleanor’s Moon for some reason, I was thinking it would be a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, another Eleanor biography, or a fiction story about a girl named Eleanor who would do great things. Instead, it is a terribly sweet story about girl who was born on a bright harvest moon night, and her grandfather, and how the moon connects them.
The story is simple, we follow these two best friends as they do almost everything together. They are only really parted when Eleanor’s family must move away. But as her grandfather promised, the moon will always connect them. And while it is bittersweet to see all the things that remind her of the moon, and therefore how much she misses her grandfather, this and writing letters back and forth to each other, is how they stay together. The ending was a bit abrupt, but in the end does not change the overall feeling.
This is the debut picture book of Maggie Knaus (due August 2023; read via an online reader copy). She is the author and illustrator. It is the illustrations and how they are presented that took a decent story, one we know, but is not over done, and made it fresh. They are colorful, and while I did not check to see the actual format, they gave me oil painting (but not painted) feeling. They are rich, deep colored and have the right details. There are a few pages that have a Large Image, then on the side smaller, almost sidebar, images as well. They tie the main picture into the story, by giving more information but not staying too long on one theme/idea/part of the story.
Most ages can listen to it, it would be a great one-on-one read, a group read could be okay, but it would need to be a slightly smaller group due to the number of smaller illustrations.