July 24, 2014

Winter Moon Song

by Martha Brooks
Illustrated by Leticia Ruifernández
Groundwood Books
32 pp.
Ages 4-7
August 2014

Embed a story about the rabbit in the moon within the narrative of a young bunny's questioning about the magic of life and winter, then add the sweetness of a traditional song and illustrate with tender watercolours by Spanish artist Leticia Ruifernández and, like magic, you have Martha Brook's first picture book, the heartfelt Winter Moon Song.

Accompany a little rabbit "not so small as to be a still-doted-upon baby, yet not big enough to be noticed in any significant way" as he makes his way home from a choir practice of the ancient piece "Winter Moon Song".  In the stillness of the winter cold, he contemplates the upcoming gathering, the aging singers in the choir and the rabbit in the moon, and asks his mother how the rabbit got there.

After his mother shares the legend of another young rabbit's sacrifice to the Great Mother, Creator Rabbit, the bunny of our story recognizes that the "Winter Moon Song" can be "a magical path lighting the darkest month" and he sets about to make it so.

Winter Moon Song is as magical as the song within, lyrically written by Martha Brooks and set to the music of cool colour washes by Leticia Ruifernández.  As refreshing as it is share this picture book now, I encourage lovers of youngCanLit to purchase it and reread it with family and children during the dark months of winter when Winter Moon Song will truly raise its voice.

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