The Moon Child

Geraldine Moran (Author), Daniella Banco (Illustrator)
Balboa Press (2022)
ISBN 979-8765235034
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (12/2022)

Bella was left at the door of an orphanage one night. On that night, the sun and the moon teamed up to make sure one of them was always watching her. Then, one day, Bella was adopted by a family far, far away and from that day on the sun and the moon remained a team, linking Bella’s new country and old country together. Because even when someone lives far, far away in a faraway land, one’s new home, and old home, are always sharing the same sun and moon. Those in the faraway land and those in the new land always see the same sun and moon, even if it isn’t at the very same time.

“The Moon Child” is an extraordinary book. Written by author Geraldine Moran, “The Moon Child” shines a light on representation for kids that have been adopted inter-country. A resource for both children and adoptive parents looking to celebrate inter-country adoptions without losing a part of their child’s origin, this heart-warming story is a perfect addition to every bookshelf. 

Beyond the story itself, illustrator Daniella Banco does a phenomenal job of contrasting light with dark as the story balances between the sun and the moon. From the play on reds, the color of Bella’s blanket to the sunrise and sunset, to the oranges and yellows of the daylight and the blues and blacks of night, the color danced off the pages and drew readers further into the story. 

Without the foreword by Lisa Sthalekar, an inter-country adoptee herself, the themes and undertones of the overall message may not have been as obvious. Written to comfort children in this situation, and provide representation to them across the pages, there were only two pages that truly made it obvious that a man and woman in another land sought a child to call their own. And, without explicitly saying it, the continued mention of the sun and moon on the majority of the pages played with the reader to remind them of how the lands were linked, no matter the distance. However, the soft messaging teaches children that one’s home country is never far away, and parents can rest assured their child and their inter-country adoption story is represented across the beautiful pages of “The Moon Child.”

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