Kissed by the moon by Alison Lester
Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9780670076758.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Influences. Growing up.
Opening a book by Alison Lester always thrills me. With her latest, Kissed by the moon, she is able to capture a parent's wish for their child to wonder at the world in which they have been born, to experience the community and the environment, to splash in the water, to experience the ocean, to hear the birds as they wake, to walk in the untamed forest. Each page opens the child's mind to the possibilities of what is around them, encouraging the parent to ensure that the child is exposed to all the good things of life. Lester's soft watercolours draw the eye to the detail of the images she draws, as well as creating soft love filled pages, underscored by the spare prose.
Each page shows a different environment and season, covering aspects of the Australian climate, be it snow, spring produce, a sunny beach or the falling leaves of autumn. Every picture is filled with the safe secure arms of a parent, guiding the child to experience its surroundings. The subtle subtext of caring for the environment is there, in lines which assume the rivers, fish and oceans will still be there, and the forests as wild.
Lester's talents with many different art forms along with her ability to encapsulate meaning in a brief smattering of words, is enough for anyone to gasp at the depth of her work, for parents to smile with recognition and children to read for themselves the wonder of childhood.