Over the Moon — Perfect Picture Book Friday
September 21, 2012
Author: Many. Conceived and Created by Kate Dawson and Jodi Glucksman
Publisher: Westport, CT: Easton Studio Press, 2012
Genre: Picture book, Lullabies
Audience Age: 0 – 8
Opening Sentences: Note: Instead of quoting the first two lines of the book, I am quoting the first lines of three of the seventeen original lullabies included in the book.
Page 9: The stars will shine, Breeze kissing your skin, As the night begins to fall and sleep moves in…
Page 12: Don’t go to sleep, Not yet, my child, Let’s watch the night While stars run wild…
Page 22: Every breath and thought is filled with you, Every glimpse I caught, the more love grew…
Synopsis: This project grew out of one person’s experience of losing a loved one to breast cancer. Her response was to go to some of her friends – actors, singers, designers on Broadway – and ask them to write, perform, illustrate new lullabies. The result is a book filled with dreamy, whimsical, imaginative lyrics paired with dreamy, or whimsical, or imaginative illustrations by some of the foremost names on Broadway today, accompanied by a CD that features the lullabies sung by others whose names are notable. The notable names aren’t what remains with you, however, it is the words, and the pictures, and the melodies – and the fact that no-one in this world, no matter how noteworthy or otherwise, is untouched by cancer. Proceeds from the book go to cancer charities. For more information about the project, please see the official website, Over the Moon Broadway.
So, while it isn’t a storybook for children, it is without doubt a book to share with children, to read to children, to sing with children, and to perhaps open conversation about cancer with children.
Activities/Resources: The first and most obvious activity is to listen to the accompanying CD, to learn the lullabies, and to sing them to or with your children. Rock them, give them the assurance of complete safety, of being loved, and sing to them. As this article in the UK Guardian states, singing with very young children may help them in their language acquisition, among the many other benefits.
Children from 3 or 4 on up can talk about the different styles of songs, the different styles of illustrations, and even draw their own illustrations for their favorite lullabies in the book.
In our family, we had a few family lullabies that were unique to our family. Children (and adults) could be encouraged to make up their own songs to soothe babies (or themselves).
Talking about the book’s other purpose, to raise funds and awareness about cancer, can open children’s minds, can help in discussing a relative’s or friend’s illness, can help them see what they can do to help. There are many child-friendly resources for learning about cancer. One example ia the Terry Fox Foundation in Canada which has a program for kids, including a School Run that kids can participate in. (The Terry Fox Run is held every September, and is an international opportunity for raising funds for cancer research.)
Availability: Readily available in hardcover. There is also a 26-song e-book, and a 26-song 2-CD set.
Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”