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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
If My Moon Was Your Sun
by Andreas Steinhofel
Age Range: 9-11
What makes a reading experience? Is it reading a book by yourself? Reading with a loved one? Or maybe it’s following along with an audiobook. In the case of reading If My Moon Was Your Sun, listening to the audiobook, while following along with the text, is the ultimate experience.
Attached in the back of the book is a CD narrated by Brett Barry, telling the story of Max kidnapping his grandfather (who is suffering from the “Great Forgetting”) from his nursing home and going to Blossom Valley, accompanied by the dancing, eccentric, bird-like Miss Schneider. A touching story loaded with pastoral imagery by German author Andreas Steinhöfel and translated into English by Matthew O. Anderson If My Moon Was Your Sun is told by a loving third-person narrator. When the reader listens along with the well-paced audiobook, their eyes are allowed to gaze at Nele Palmtag’s illustrators while listening to selections from Prokofiev’s “A Summer Day” and Bizet’s “Petite Suite.”
If My Moon Was Your Sun deals with the difficult concept of ageing and forgetting, while at the same time it provides beautiful language, including descriptions of Max’s longing within his “billions of tiny cells,” and his love for his grandfather due to the intense feeling of “rest[ing] his tired head in Grandfather’s lap after they had picked apples.” The title of the book refers to a lesson Max learns about his grandfather: how “you can’t always see the moon, but you know it’s always there.”
Perhaps the best reading experience for If My Moon Was Your Sun would be letting the words soak into your mind both by reading and listening, the illustrations reflect back into each of your wandering eyes, and the music of Prokofiev and Bizet whirl through your ears—all accompanied by a discussion with your loved ones about the themes and difficult concepts.
Catherine Hurwitz (May22)