Friday, April 13, 2007

The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Moon, written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1885 and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson, interprets the poem as a late night boat ride of a boy and his dad in a coastal town. Until recently Tracey Campbell Pearson was an unknown author in our house. Since listening to her speak at the Keene State College Literature Festival we have added her books to our personal library and to our library visits. The endpapers and dedication page begin with a dad waking up his son to go for a midnight ride in his boat. The watercolor and ink illustrations reflect the quiet calm of the night. Blue abounds in the night sky and in the water of the harbor. The inside of the house, especially the boy's bedroom, are perfectly drawn with just the right amount of messiness and rumpled bed covers. This is what my house looks like.
Whenever you hear an author speak about the writing process the book takes on more meaning and my appreciation of the process grows. This is the case with this book. During her speech in Keene, she related difficulties with painting oceans and I loved a comment she made about looking at other children's illustrators oceans to get inspiration. She had to come to a realization that her oceans were her oceans and unlike any others. Isn't that what we try to relay to our children about art every day?

The Moon was originally published in A Child's Garden of Verses. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I now have a 1932 copy published by Platt and Munk. It is in excellent condition and the illustrations done by Eulalie capture the sweetness and simpleness of childhood.

Related Links:

Tracey Campbell Pearson's Web Site

7-imp also mentioned this book in a recent poetry post.

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