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Moonlight: The Halloween Cat


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About the Author

Cynthia Rylant's gift for conveying the enchantment and beauty to be found in everyday life is seen in such award-winning books as Missing May, winner of the Newbery Medal; A Fine White Dust, a Newbery Honor Book; and The Relatives Came and When I Was Young in the Mountains, both Caldecott Honor Books. Books she's written and illustrated include the much-beloved Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven. Cynthia Rylant grew up in West Virginia. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest. Melissa Sweet has illustrated more than one hundred books. Her work has been in magazines, on greeting cards, and on her living room walls. Melissa has received the Caldecott Honor Medal twice, among many other awards, including the Sibert Medal, and is a New York Times bestselling author and artist. Melissa lives in Maine. You can visit her at


In a gentle holiday outing, Moonlight, a black cat with a pink nose and friendly green eyes, prowls under a starlit Halloween sky. She gazes at glowing jack-o'-lanterns ("Pumpkins smile at her") and, in casual feline style, curls up on a seated scarecrow ("Straw laps welcome her"). Rylant's (Cat Heaven) quiet sentences convey Moonlight's contentment, as do the lazy rolling hillsides and shady pine-green lawns in Sweet's (Bouncing Time) paintings. Mellow Moonlight, who never hisses or puffs her fur, happily crouches in a tree as owls fly by and unhurriedly saunters through a silent graveyard: "It is her favorite night of all." Ages 2-5. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-Told in rhythmic prose that almost purrs when read aloud, this black cat's story enchants with a perfect blend of art and text. On the opening spread, Moonlight waits patiently for readers to catch up with her in a pumpkin patch of vibrant orange. Then, she walks across rolling meadows, along fences, and past hay fields. "Moonlight walks the night. She sees lights going off in the houses. Now only pumpkins will shine." The feline snuggles affectionately on the lap of a man made of straw and watches many splendors of the night, including trick-or-treating children and reflections of stars on a pond. Sweet's acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations bring the feline and the pumpkins to life. Luminously serene blues and greens predominate and harmonize with the cozy, comforting moods and emotions the text evokes. Especially enchanting is the close-up illustration of Moonlight's back as she sits placidly on a tree branch, facing a huge, yellow moon. The varying perspectives throughout the book are bound to keep even the youngest children intrigued.-James K. Irwin, Poplar Creek Main Library, Steamwood, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Bouncing Time, by Patricia Hubbell, illustrated by Melissa Sweet "A slice of pure pleasure."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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