The Moon Inside

h1 August 16th, 2016 by jules

“Every night, when the dark entered the house, traveling slowly down the walls
and over the floors, Ella grew afraid.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


Coming to shelves next month from Groundwood is Sandra V. Feder’s The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro. I like this book so much I want to show you all some spreads from it today.

This is the gently-paced story of a young girl, named Ella, afraid of the dark. There’s no shortage of picture books on this topic, but Feder and Sicuro handle this with such care and thoughtfulness; it really stands out. Note, for one, in the spread featured above, the book’s opening spread, how evocatively and accurate Feder describes how the dark appears to a child (or, more precisely, how it moves). Ella turns on the lights in each room she enters in order “to make the dark go away.” The sun makes Ella happy, and yellow—which dominates the book’s paelette—is her favorite color. For this reason, she avoids dusk.

But one night, her mother takes her outside, showing her where the yellow, or the light, resides. Ella also comes to appreciate the muted sounds of night. Before she goes inside, she sees the “golden moon,” deciding it’s a lot like her favorite yellow, “only quieter.”

Sicuro’s mixed media illustrations (gouache and ink with some digital edits) shine—no pun intended—with pleasing textures. Towards the book’s close is a beguiling wordless forest spread with an owl and other nocturnal creatures. The moon, of course, takes the cake here — the part of the night the girl has come to love.

Here are some more spreads. Enjoy!


“‘The moon,’ Ella said,
spotting it low on the horizon.”

(Click to enlarge spread, which appears here slightly different than in the final version)


“Before they went back into the house, Ella looked up at the golden moon.
‘It’s my favorite color — only quieter,’ she said.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge the cover)


* * * * * * *

THE MOON INSIDE. Copyright © 2016 by Sandra V. Feder. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Aimée Sicuro. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Groundwood Books, Toronto.

5 comments to “The Moon Inside

  1. Reading this tonight! Can’t wait to join in on the conversation (officially)!

  2. It’s weird the things that trend! We’re seeing more books which celebrate the dark and the night sky with really gorgeous artwork. This is one of the nicest.

  3. This is one of the best beautiful children’s books I have read . The subject matter is something all of us can relate to at particular time.

  4. What beautiful colors!

  5. Jules,

    This book looks lovely!

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