"Why Does The Moon Shine So Bright?" ($14.95 in softcover from Artistic Publications; also for Amazon Kindle) is gloriously illustrated by Chicoan Steve Ferchaud. The full-page, full-color images introduce a plethora of fanciful characters, denizens of fairyland, populating a young child's musing on how to answer that perplexing question. (A Spanish language version is also available.)
That old moon is a strange thing: "Sometimes it's big. Sometimes it's small. Sometimes it doesn't come out at all." And more: "Some nights, the moon seems so close, like it has something to say. Its beaming light shines in my room at night and brightens it like day. It's almost as if it's saying to me 'Will you come out and play?'"
So how did the moon get up into the sky in the first place? Could it have flown? Could scientists have "figured a way to hang it way up high"? Maybe there was a great slingshot that put it there?
Once the moon is in place, why does it shine so bright? "Do you think someone stands behind it with a great big light?" Maybe?
There's a lot for a kid to ponder. It's hard work. But then sleepiness intervenes and as the child is drifting off there's the realization that there's so much more to know. Maybe as a grownup all the secrets of the moon will reveal themselves to the child.
But for now, sleep is a welcome companion. But it's not the only companion. In a double-page spread Ferchaud populates the child's room with characters from dreamland. A frog prince. A violin-playing cat. A mouse sitting down for a feast of cheese. Flitting fairies everywhere. A living spoon.
And there, look! Just out the window, barely visible above the bright moon, a magnificent cow.