Author: Tonya Bolden Illustrator: Eric Velasquez
A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.
Critically acclaimed author Tonya Bolden teams up with award‑winning illustrator Eric Velasquez to create a richly painted and emotionally complex book that celebrates prayer and kindness while recognizing the diversity of the world around us.
Pub Date: November 04, 2014
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—On a summer night, a full golden moon lights up the busy dark city streets and inspires the prayers of a boy who scrambles out of bed to kneel for the ritual he had forgotten. One by one, readers are shown four city scenes in which the moon shines over people oblivious to its beauty: a homeless woman huddling for warmth on a bench, a man on a commuter train thinking of his soldier daughter far away, an elderly man in his hospital room, and two "sad souls staring at bare kitchen cabinets." The child prays in turn "for people with no home…for wars to end…for the sick to be healed…for people, little and big, to have the food they need." Having covered these larger social needs, he moves on to more personal concerns, praying for family members, his turtle," for his teacher to read a story every day." Velasquez's double-page scenes are painted in dark tones with early light on the faraway armed soldiers and their helicopter and brighter warm tones in the foreground of the soup kitchen. The simple narrative, which juxtaposes social concerns with prayer lines attributed to the "little boy," seems most likely to resonate with adults. The tone of the youngster's personal prayers and the concluding view of him tucked back into bed are more childlike. The diverse people sharing the night, the realistic dilemmas of the people in need, and the handsome presentation should serve well as bedtime reading for families practicing daily prayer.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston