Foreword Review — Mar / Apr 1999
A powerful storm shatters the happiness that Jon and his father share in their little cottage by the sea. The father’s boat is capsized by a huge wave and, while he survives physically, his spirit sinks into the depths of the sea. The man who struggles home after the storm is a shivering shell of the fisherman father that Jon knows. As night falls, Jon turns his tear-stained face to the moon, seeking her guidance. The kind moon willingly helps Jon retrieve the father’s spirit from the clutches of an octopus far beneath the ocean waters and then returns, still dripping wet, to her place in the night sky. Happiness is restored.
As an illustrator of children’s books, Vendrell has twice been recognized as Spain’s nominee for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. The luminescent paintings of round-faced, wide-eyed characters in Jon’s Moon are similar to those in Brush (Kane/Miller, 1986) also illustrated by Vendrell. The expressive face of Jon’s moon shines into his window and glows from the basket into which Jon places her after plucking her from the sky-leaving behind a black hole. On each page the moon mirrors Jon’s expression as his face is alternately sad, content, skeptical and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task they face.
First published in Spain in 1982 and subsequently translated into other languages, this first American edition of the title will find a welcome spot in collections of stories about the celestial orb.