Here is the short film on which this picture book is based:
A boy falls in love with the moon. Determined to win her affection, he offered her gift after gift continually being rejected by the moon. An old man tells him to give up or “she will transform him forever”. He then physically restrains the moon “with a long piece of string” so that he can offer her something she has never seen before: the beautiful colors of the day.
The illustrations really are lovely, being mostly sepia until the page where the boy shows the moon the colors of the day. But my 3 year old remarked that the moon doesn’t go away during the day.
Even more than any questionable scientific accuracy, I am pretty appalled by the message. So when a girl continually turns you down despite your feats of strength to impress her, just physically restrain her with a rope and she might eventually give in?
Now I can understand a suspension of disbelief. I do that all of the time when reading fantasy. However, when my toddler questions the science and I am so disturbed by the undertone, I am afraid that I can’t support what could have been a sweet tale about love. Too often we swoon over stories that focus too much on the effort put out by a man to “win” the love of a woman without stopping to consider how the woman might feel or if he eventually “wins” her because she feels pressured into it.