Tuesday, December 28, 2021

At the Height of the Moon edited by Alison Baverstock, Matt Cunningham, & Annette Roeder from Prestel Publishing [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

At the Height of the Moon - A Book of Bedtime Poetry and Art

ISBN: 9783791374802
US $24.95 | Canada $33.95
Prestel Publishing
My thoughts:  First impressions..... This is a beautifully bound book that is sturdy and will last a long time. Included are beautiful reproductions of art from a variety of periods. The book is marketed as for ages 5 to 9 or kindergarten to grade 4. Frankly, I don't see this as a book for that age group based on the illustrations alone. Also, there are some art reproductions that show full frontal nudity. 

Now to look at it as a book of poetry and other readings - a variety of traditional, classic, and modern poetry. The book's divisions are in bed time or sleepy time themes - twilight, dreamland, moonlight menagerie, creepy crawlies & things that go bump in the night, minds ablaze, and midnight & magic.

I was delighted to see Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabelle Lee" included though I despair of seeing it as a bedtime reading for young children. In addition to poetry, there were short readings (essays or short stories) that were very pleasant and enjoyable. Included were some of my favorite poets - Robert Browning, Robert Burns, Lewis Carroll, Charles Mackay, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman (Captain, My Captain). 

The art selection was beautiful and would expose children of any age to the variety and artistry of beautiful works of art. I did personally believe, however, that some selections were out-of-bounds for inclusion in a collection of poetry and bedtime stories as some full nudity was shown as were fierce witch creatures or fairy-land creatures. These were not depictions of the "big bad wolf of the 3 little pigs" or of  "the witch or old lady in Little Red Riding Hood." These were the stuff of nightmares and "mid summer's nights dreams." I consider young children's books out of bounds for this type artistic expression even though beautifully executed and the creation of a famous artist.

I totally agree with exposing young children to written poetry and stories even though the meanings and vocabulary are beyond their comprehension. It is a way to grow the child's mind and aid in growing a strong vocabulary and method of expression for himself.

So many good points and some not so good points about At the Height of the Moon

About the book: Drawing from centuries of artistic and literary traditions from around the world, this gorgeous bedtime book pairs works of art with poems and short fiction. Divided into eight thematic sections it features dozens of double-paged spreads that families will turn to again and again as part of their bedtime routine. The carefully chosen, diverse selection of images includes works by John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Utagawa Hiroshige and Henri Le Sidoner among many others, beautifully reproduced in luminous color. Accompanying these artworks are poems, mediations and short fiction that range from lighthearted verse to eerie folktales. Together these words and pictures create meaningful impressions that children will treasure and remember as they drift off to sleep—and hold onto for the rest of their lives.

Begins December 29
Ends January 22 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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