Home > Picture book > The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy Illustrated by David Elliot

The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy Illustrated by David Elliot

The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy. Illus. David Elliot. Pub. Random House, 2010.

A lovely picture book this which will no doubt be a contender in the children’s book awards next year. A new combination of writer and illustrator and a successful one at that.

Simple plot centred on the effects of the moon on both animals and man and a bit of the old message of “taking it easy and appreciating the world around you”.

The cover and early pages show a rather sad looking farmer McPhee, with all the worries of the world going round in his head, plodding  home, head down and pitchfork over his shoulder. The animals are looking at a wonderful moon and show concern for  farmer McPhee, who is oblivious of the beauty around him.

The joy of the animals whisking and frisking in the moonlight wakens Farmer McPhee who is at first angry, but then sees the beauty of the moonlit world around him and then joins the animals in their wild wonder.

Margaret Mahy’s written text  as always is inspiring.  Factual and whimsical, using rhyme and alliteration to the fullest effect. She creates a happy world that children will love to hear read to them over and over again and also to read themselves. It’s what you expect of Margaret Mahy.

David Elliot’s illustrations are masterful. He creates the magic of the countryside, the joy of the animals and the madness of the moon wonderfully well. The unity of written text and illustrations is absolute.

The foldout middle pages and barndoor ending will get children physically involved with the story.

Just perfect.

An essential purchase for all primary school libraries, and a great read-a-loud for juniors.

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