Lisa Doucet Reviews The Moon King

"Bursting with colour and joyful energy, folk artist Cara Kansala’s new picture book feels like a traditional fairytale, or a beloved nursery rhyme."

Bursting with colour and joyful energy, folk artist Cara Kansala’s new picture book feels like a traditional fairytale, or a beloved nursery rhyme. It is the story of the hapless Moon King, who trips over the night and scatters the stars throughout the land, sea and sky.   

To fix the mess he has made and restore order to the skies, the pink-cheeked Moon King rouses the birds and sleepy woodland creatures. Soon the bear, hare, moose and fox find themselves collecting the misplaced stars. The birds fly them “back up to the night/where dreams and wishes are.”   

This collaborative effort sets everything right. The Moon King expresses his tremendous gratitude by shining brightly and serenading one and all with “his moonlit lullaby.” 

Lilting and lovely, the gentle and soothing rhymes have a pleasing rhythm. Together the words and images exude whimsy and wonder.  

Kansala uses a bright, lively palette of primary and secondary colours along with bold, black outlines and cartoon-like characters to create her playful scenes. The stars have a quirkiness about them that might make readers believe that they are enjoying the mayhem and mischief that is afoot.    

Despite the Moon King’s decision to recruit all the animals to help fix his gaffe, there is no sense of urgency here: this is pure fun and fancifulness from start to finish. Whether it is being read at bedtime or storytime, this vibrant and imaginative tale is sure to delight young audiences. 

(Ages 3-7)

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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