A silver-haired, solitary moon-watcher and a young, likewise solitary visitor find what they need in each other.

“At dawn, the sun jeweled tree and rooftops alike.” Written in richly allusive, atmospheric prose that will keep lovers of words pinned to the page, this original tale brings together Mirada, dreamlessly rocking away each night with the moon her sole companion, and a vagrant, straw-haired lad known down in the village only as “Get Out Of The Way, Boy,” or sometimes “Take That, Boy.” Never uttering a sound aside from an occasional “Merry, merry” from a fragmentary memory of a boat song, the child lives in fear and hunger until he wanders one night into Mirada’s garden, where a glimpse of him, “walking-stick thin” and dressed in rags, reawakens memories of her own, long-gone family. She invites him in for tea, and soup, and bread—and from that moment the two are inseparable, as days and seasons and years go by and the moon watches over all. Using such a subdued palette that day can hardly be told from night in her transparent, woodsy watercolors, Ando goes for close-ups of faces (all white) and unframed natural scenes that spill over the trimmed edges or fade into open space.

It’s pitched most directly to older audiences, but younger ones may catch some of the sonic, thematic, and emotional resonances. (Picture book. 8-12, adult)

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