author/illustrator: Jami Gigot
Hardcover picture book
8.5 x 10.5 inches
Release date: September 8, 2015
About the Book
Mae and the moon love to play together. Their favorite game is hide and seek. But when the moon disappears one evening and cannot be found, Mae wonders what happened and begins to worry. Determined to find her glowing friend, Mae takes matters into her own hands and sets off on a wonderful and curious voyage through her imagination.
This charming book, beautifully illustrated in soft moonlit hues, will capture the hearts of moon gazers everywhere.
About the Author/Illustrator
Jami Gigot has always loved a good story. As a child she would secretly read by moonlight well past her bedtime. Passionately interested in the relationship between words and pictures she studied animation and VFX at Vancouver Film School and has worked as a Digital Artist on several films (including Avatar, Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Captain America). Though she hails from Madison, Wisconsin, she now calls Vancouver, BC home with her husband and two children, both of whom happen to be incredible moon spotters. This is Jami’s first picture book.
From The Children's Book Review, July 17, 2016:
Mae’s favorite playmate is the moon. He seems to follow her everywhere, but no matter what she does, she cannot catch him. They play hide and seek together through parks and fields until she’s so tired she can only lay on the grass, gazing up at the moon with her dog.
One night, Mae realizes the moon is changing. Then suddenly, the moon disappears. Where did it go? How can she find the moon now? Mae sets off on a delightful adventure using her imagination and a handy cardboard box to build the “Moon Chaser 5,” a rocket that will help her find her lost friend. Will she and her dog sidekick be successful and bring the moon back home to the night sky? Or will the moon stay hidden forever?
MAE AND THE MOON is a delightfully different bedtime story for children. The illustrations are calm and soothing, perfect for a slumber-time read. Mae is charmingly cute, and her hipster parents and spunky little brother are sweet (as is her little dog helper). I especially loved the real phases of the moon illustrated inside the front and back covers. It’s a great talking point with little children to help explain how the moon waxes and wanes in a cycle. The science is soft, but the facts are very real and easy to understand. It’s a great introduction to more scientific topics. Plus, the book encourages imagination and creativity, like building one’s own rocket ship to the moon. How adorable. The text is ideal for children, without being too simple.
Overall, MAE AND THE MOON is a surprising and unique book that hits all the right notes for children and parents alike. Highly recommended.
As seen on Portlandia, February 4, 2016:
From Quill and Quire, November 12, 2015:
Vancouver author-illustrator and visual-effects animator Jami Gigot’s debut picture book celebrates children’s fascination with the moon. Conveyed in minimal and lucid text, the story tells of a young girl’s affinity for the celestial body. The pigtailed protagonist, Mae, delights in playing games like hide-and-seek with the moon. As the nights elapse, she spies the moon growing thinner, waning to a crescent and then disappearing altogether. The following day, Mae crafts a rocket from a cardboard box and imagines herself boarding the vessel – dubbed the Moon Chaser – and embarking on a quest to find her luminous companion. When night falls and her father beckons her to come inside, Mae discovers the moon has returned.
This sleepy-time tale unfolds against a backdrop of pencil and digital-paint artwork infused with twilight-evoking hues of black, purple, and blue. Gigot lends an innovative visual touch with the use of wordless spreads, which heighten the emotion of the story’s dramatic moments. The moon’s disappearance, depicted as two pages of black sky punctuated with white stars, is a striking example.
The book’s back pastedown offers budding astronomers a labeled diagram of the lunar phases, and opens the door to further exploration and dark-sky dreaming. - Carol-Ann Hoyte
From School Library Journal, September 1, 2015:
Little Mae loves the moon, looking for it in the sky every night. She thinks of the orb as her playmate, as she tries to catch it, howls at it, or plays hide-and-seek with it in the park. As time goes by, Mae notices that the moon keeps getting thinner, until one night it disappears completely. Devastated, Mae asks her mom if her friend will return, only to be told, “Even moons need to rest.” Not satisfied with this explanation, Mae and her dad build a cardboard rocket that reunites Mae and the moon...in her imagination. While Mae plays with the rocket, the real moon comes back; in the happy conclusion of the story, the moon’s thin crescent smiles through the window upon the sleeping Mae. Gigot’s digitally colored pencil illustrations perfectly capture the calm lunar glow over the nocturnal blues and purples of a sleepy town, setting up a stark contrast of darkness in the spread when the moon is absent. Their cartoonish style is sweetly humorous, especially in portraying Mae’s real companion—a little white dog. Front and back endpapers feature the phases of the moon.
VERDICT A sweet, quiet story suitable for a cozy bedtime reading. – Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
From Foreword Reviews, August 27, 2015:
Mae loves playing hide-and-seek with the moon each night, but she becomes worried when she notices it is waning away into darkness. The endearing young astronomer embarks on a mission to find her luminous friend, and the ease of Gigot’s clear, flowing narrative and night-hued illustrations propel her wondrous journey along. Everything, even the silky quality of the paper, makes this gentle story a perfect bedtime read. Ages two and up. - Aimee Jodoin
From Booklist Online, August 13, 2015:
Mae is in awe of the night sky and considers the moon her constant companion—particularly for playing games of hide-and-seek. Over time, she observes the moon changing, becoming thinner, until one night it disappears altogether. Although Mae’s mom assures her that “even moons need to rest,” Mae builds a cardboard rocket in order to find her lunar friend. Soon though, the moon reappears and all ends well. Appealing pencil and digital paint illustrations make use of a dark-hued palette of purple, black, indigo, and blue to effectively convey the nighttime setting, against which Mae, her dog, and the moon appear as bright spots. The illustrations are in perfect harmony with the minimal text, carrying the story through several wordless sequences and capturing Mae’s sense of wonder. Gigot’s debut is especially appropriate for a quiet bedtime story, but it would also work well in the classroom as a mini lesson for the phases of the moon, as each moon phase is pictured and identified on the final pastedown. — Randall Enos
From The Midwest Book Review, July 2015 Children's Bookwatch issue:
"Mae and the Moon" is a new sort of bedtime story that encourages children to explore mysteries and enjoy darkness, whether lit by moonlight or shadowed. Velvety backgrounds abound in the delicate, fanciful illustrations, while few choice words tell the exciting tale of Mae's friendship with the moon. They play games together in the friendly night, and their favorite game was hide-and-seek. One night Mae could not find the moon in the sky. Pages of blackness lit only by tiny white twinkling's emphasize this loss poignantly, while Mae and her dog look out the somberly lit window, bereft. Mae is a girl who takes action when faced with a mystery, so the next day she commenced building a mighty cardboard rocket ship named Moon Chaser, with the help of her black and white dog. Many hours of seeking in the day and the night end with a miraculous finish, under the benevolent care of Mae's Papa and Mama. Mae is delighted when her friend the Moon returns, and not surprised at all when the Moon smiles at her. "Mae and the Moon" is a magical book, with all the mystery and magic of a moonlit night.
From Kirkus Reviews, June 23, 2015:
A little girl loves the moon and worries when it disappears.
Mae’s favorite game to play with the moon is hide-and-seek. But suddenly, one night, the moon is gone! Mae looks for it everywhere. Her mom tells her that even the moon needs to rest. But Mae can’t just sit and wait. This petite, pigtailed heroine must do something, so she creates a rocket ship out of a cardboard box. She flies up to space and gratefully hugs her long-lost friend. But when her papa interrupts her imaginary play, Mae looks up to the sky and realizes that the moon really is back. In its crescent shape, it looks like it is smiling at her. Gigot’s picture-book debut is awash with deep, purple-blue nighttime hues and luminous moonlight. The text is placed sparingly on the page. At the climax, when the moon disappears, a full spread of inky, starry blackness heightens the drama. A labeled diagram of the phases of the moon appears at the end (to be covered by pasted library flaps, alas). While it’s hard to imagine that Mae could not have noticed the phases of the moon before this, her attachment nevertheless rings true.
Not spectacularly innovative but sweet just the same. (Picture book. 3-6)
From Publishers Weekly, June 15, 2015:
Gigot, a visual effects artist for film, debuts by introducing Mae, a girl with long blond braids and a deep attachment to the moon that hangs above her cozy small town. Set almost entirely at night, the story follows along as Mae plays in the backyard in the moonlight and strolls through a park with her parents. As the pages turn, readers will likely notice that the moon is waning; midway through, it disappears completely, with Gigot offering a wordless spread of a black night sky, dotted with stars. “Even moons need to rest,” explains Mae’s mother. Determined to reunite with the moon, Mae constructs a cardboard rocket ship, and in the book’s triumphant climax, Gigot pictures Mae’s vessel tethered to the coolly glowing crescent while the young aviatrix gives the moon a full-body hug. Gigot’s pages are bathed in the dusty dark blues and grays of twilight, the moon literally looming large in Mae’s life. The straightforward writing doesn’t call much attention to itself, but Gigot’s smart use of wordless scenes allows the story’s emotional peaks to have their full impact. Ages 1–8. (Sept.)