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Catching the Moon

Written by Myla Goldberg

Illustrated by Chris Sheban


Every night, when the moon comes out, an old woman sits and fishes with rod, reel, and... a mouse? Whoever heard of such silliness? No one else would fish in the dark! But the Fisherwoman knows what she's doing, and everyone else will soon find out.


Reviews and Awards

⋆ "Can a wily old woman outsmart the Man in the Moon? When a Fisherwoman starts fishing every moon-bright night with a mouse for bait, the only one who worries is the Man in the Moon. One moonless night, she brews tea in her shack when a round-faced stranger appears with a sea-cucumber sandwich. To her surprise, the Fisherwoman invites him in. As they sip green tea, the stranger notes how the high tide soaks the floor and crashes through the door. The Fisherwoman keeps fishing by moonlight, and on the next moonless night, the stranger returns with a moon pie. As they sip black tea, the Fisherwoman confesses she is angling to hook the Man in the Moon with her mouse bait to force him to keep the troublesome tides away. Eventually, the clever Fisherwoman and the moon-faced stranger solve the problem of the tides so they can drink their tea by a calm sea. In her children's debut, Goldberg's lunar language and Sheban's stunningly luminous illustrations turn this contemporary tall tale into a shining winner." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

⋆ "Goldberg's (The Bee Season, for adults) elegant text and Sheban's (I Met a Dinosaur) enchanting illustrations in this tale of friendship between a Fisherwoman and the Man in the Moon are not to be missed. The omniscient narrator begins with a page-turning sentence: "Hardly anyone noticed when the Fisherwoman started fishing at night," and the tale develops like a beguiling dream. The moon, intrigued with the Fisherwoman, puts on "his traveling hat" and sunglasses disguise to visit her at home. They have tea together - he brings a sea cucumber sandwich, and another time a moon pie. One night, the Fisherwoman tells her visitor of her plan to reel in the moon and prevent the tides from eroding the village's fishing shacks ("Her bright-eyed guest was very impressed, but he did not share her fondness for fishing hooks"). The gentle humor in both text and images softens the environmental theme. Sheban's palette of cobalt blue and chestnut brown allow him to highlight the radiant moonlight. The round-faced moon's phosphorescent footprints glow like yellow coins on the pier, and he sends the woman a gift that helps her achieve her lofty goal. Like the artwork, Goldberg's text ripples with mystery and singular images: "Now everyone knows that on one night each month, there is no moon: From Iowa to India, the sky is dark, save for its starlight freckles." This elegant book is as captivating as moonlight shimmering on a quiet sea." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This charming book has a wonderful melding of text and illustrations. The deep purples and blues of the nighttime scenes counterbalance the glowing yellows and golds of the moon. Some of the paintings almost glow in the dark. In one, the Moon's light can be seen seeping under the closed door and through the keyhole. In another, its glow brilliantly enhances the woman's laughing face, making her homely features beautiful. Goldberg's text flows almost like the tides and includes words that will gently stretch a young child's vocabulary, e.g., crustacean, luminous, and guffawed. This delightful book is not to be missed." - School Library Journal

"In a spare humorous style, Goldberg ("Bee Season") tells a layered story that invites rereading. On dimly lit pages Sheban's golden pictures, done with watercolors and Prismacolor pencils, give off a dream-like glow." - The New York Times Book Review


Purchase Options
Indiebound  Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2007
Picture Book
ISBN: 0-439-57686-5
Price: $16.99/$20.99
Trim Size: 10" x 10"
Page Count: 40
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes


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