Author Leigh Kamraoui and illustrator Louise Whyte ponder the reasons why the moon shows up during the day.
All parents know that look of horror and wonder that appears on a child’s face when the moon appears during the day. How can it be? What is happening? They point at the sky as if it’s some sort of magic trick. The Moon in Daytime is the first book of six currently planned by author-illustrator duo Leigh Kamraoui and Louise Whyte. It’s a self-published indie available in both English and French. Which is understandable given that Scottish-born Kamraoui and Irish-born Whyte now both reside in the south of France.
The Moon in Daytime Review
Kamraoui informed Old Mate Media that her goal is to explain “how the world works through fun and educational fantasy stories in rhythm and rhyme. And to answer questions children ask that may stump parents.” It’s a great angle, helped no doubt by Kamraoui’s 20-year history working on scientific journals. It’s also an angle I know my own children respond to well. When the book’s character, a young boy called Alex, asks “why is the moon shining during the day,” it’s instantly relatable.
Kamraoui has done well in linking her story through rhyme. Despite some unnecessary stop words – to use coding parlance - and a couple of lines that feel a bit forced, the story maintains its flow. By repeating a few lines core to the tale as we jump from scene to scene, the narrative arc connects nicely. Children follow along willingly as Alex begins asking the creatures of the night for an explanation of the moon in the daytime. They begin to anticipate who Alex will meet next and what bizarre answer he may receive.
I enjoyed the tale and I like the way it brings closure for Alex. It definitely prompts parents to go a little deeper on the why and how of the moon in daytime, but illustrates the concept in a way that accelerates that discussion.
The Moon in Daytime Design
Whyte’s illustrations are relatively simple, highlighting a dream-like atmosphere. Scenes are contemplative, low on action and expression, yet providing plenty to look and point at. It’s thematically sound, and there are nice little details littered throughout. The style fits the story, and I think they would be even punchier in high-resolution print.
The design of the book is much as you would expect from a self-published indie. Images and text are kept separate, and the layout is that of a classic page-turner, more than a contemporary picture book style. I did find the mix of flashback daylight scenes with the night scenes a little challenging to adapt to. The text paints this feeling of Alex’s journey occurring over one night, but the daylight images don’t quite connect with that in a way that instantly makes sense. I worry that the kids may not make that leap.
Perhaps if the daylight scenes happened in a thought-bubble; like a memory. Potentially a design element that could be worked on in subsequent versions. As it stands, the Moon in Daytime is still an enjoyable night time read. The story bounces along nicely and approaches a curious subject from a unique perspective. It’s a style I like and would recommend.
Where to Next?
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