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Winner of the

Kiekeboekprijs 2003

Best Pre-school Book
in The Netherlands
Find out about the other Mole and Friends books
No Place Like Home, Diamond in the Snow,
The Best Gift of All
and A Secret Worth Sharing
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Bringing Down the Moon

Illustrated by Vanessa Cabban

Mole thinks the moon is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, and he wants it. But as Rabbit, Hedgehog and Squirrel remind him, some things are not as simple - or as close - as they look!

"Imaginative picture layout is the perfect counterpoint to the lyrical text - a must read for younger children."

CAROUSEL

"Gentle, appealing illustrations and great read-aloud text"

Gwynneth Bailey, BOOKS FOR KEEPS

Read these and other reviews

UK

UK Paperback • ISBN-10: 1406373044 • ISBN-13: 978-1406373042

UK Hardcover • ISBN-10: 0744575524 • ISBN-13: 9780744575521

UK Paperback & DVD •ISBN-10: 1406323969 • ISBN-13: 9781406323962

UK Board Book • ISBN-10: 1844287947 • ISBN-13: 9781844287949

UK Board Book & Soft Toy • ISBN-10: 1844287963 • ISBN-13: 97-1844287963

UK Mini Paperback • ISBN-10: 140630025X • ISBN-13: 9781406300253

 

US Hardcover • ISBN-10: 0763615773 • ISBN-13: 978-0763615772

US Board Book • ISBN-10: 0763642673 • ISBN-13: 978-0763642679

 
Germany France Sweden Denmark Finland Slovenia Friesian Dutch
S Korea Japan Castillian Catalan Lewis Gaelic
Click here for details of foreign language editions


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Sometimes the idea for a story will spring into my mind fully-formed, but a lot of the time, I get an idea that doesn't work the way I think it should and I have to put it to one side and come back to it later. The story for "Bringing Down the Moon" was like this.

The first idea I came up with was for a story called "A Tower to the Moon" which was about a man who tries to reach the moon by building an enormous rickety tower. The tower gets taller and taller until it eventually topples over. But I wasn't happy with this story, the man's behaviour didn't feel right to me - why did he suddenly decide to do this, and why didn't he know that the moon is too far away.

I stuck the story in my "In Progress" folder and kept coming back to it every few months, but got no further with it until I hit upon the idea of making the main character a mole. A mole lives underground and might never have come across the moon before. And moles are short-sighted, so they might have difficulty judging distance. Then I remembered a picture of a mole that David Parkins had drawn as an incidental character for Tick-Tock - one of my favourite picture books. When I looked at this mole (who is determinedly riding a bicycle), my Mole's character and the rest of the story began to fall into place.

I decided that a tower was a bit too sophisticated for a mole, so he would build a ladder instead. I also thought that he would try a more straightforward approach first. So, to start with, I had him jumping up, poking and throwing things at the moon.

Next, I introduced some other characters for Mole to interact with. I liked the idea of these characters being woken-up, one by one, as Mole reached higher and higher. So I chose a rabbit that slept below ground, a hedgehog that slept on the ground and a squirrel that slept high up in a tree.

I often discuss story ideas with my son, Max. When I first told him this story (he was two years old at the time) I kept stopping and asking him what he thought Mole might do next. When I got to the bit just before Mole was going to build the ladder, I asked Max what he thought Mole would do - and Max suggested that he should climb a tree. This struck me as a much stronger and straightforward solution, so I decided to use it in the story. This is why the book is dedicated "To Max, for the use of his tree."

Walker Books bought the story and Vanessa Clarke, my editor there, set about turning it into a book. Finding the right illustrator was important. The story takes place at night, so a subtle use of light and colour was needed to bring the dark woodland world to life. Vanessa showed me some beautifully-toned illustrations that Vanessa Cabban had just done for another book and we quickly settled on her.

Like all good illustrators, Vanessa Cabban has enriched and extended the story. One of my favourite examples of this is her final end-paper illustration, which shows Mole staying up to admire the moon, long after his friends have gone back to bed.

Kiekeboekprijs 2003

 


Photograph © 2003 Eerke de Haan, Biblionet Groningen

The Dutch edition of "Bringing Down the Moon", entitled "Ik Wil De Maan", was awarded the Kiekeboekprijs for 2003.

The Kiekeboekprijs is a book prize set up by an association of Dutch libraries and is awarded annually to what they consider to be the best Pre-school Book published in the Netherlands.

Van Goor, the book's Dutch publisher, was generous enough to invite Vanessa Cabban and myself over to the Netherlands to pick up the award in September 2003. This is the first time that Vanessa and I had met or even spoken to each other*, and I'm pleased to say that we got along very well. The picture opposite was taken of us shortly after the ceremony. You can find more pictures at the Kiekeboekprijs web site.

After the ceremony we saw a special performance of "Molletje an de maan" ("Mole and the Moon"), a lovely adaptation of the book produced by the Marionettentheater De Flierefluiter puppet theatre company.

*Our Dutch publishers were amazed that Vanessa and I had never met and I suspect that this would come as a surprise to many people. However most UK picture books are produced without the author and illustrator ever communicating directly with each other.
 

 

This book is for
Max,
for the use
of his tree
Illustrations © 2001 Vanessa Cabban. Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd., London .
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"Hot diggety!" exclaims plump Mole when he sees the full moon for what is apparently the first time. And indeed, the moon is at its most fetching, glowing in the cobalt-blue night sky "like a bright silver coin." Mole spends the balance of the book engaged in sweetly comic attempts to pry the moon out of the sky. His woodland pals try to warn him off the plan, each one pointing out, "It's not as close as it looks." But that doesn't stop Mole from trying to leap for it, poke it, knock it down with acorns or simply grab it from a high tree branch. Finally, it dawns on him: the moon's beauty lies in the fact that everyone can enjoy it (and besides, Mole now notes sagely, "It's NOT as close as it looks!").
Author and artist seem ideally paired for this well-travelled but sweet tale. In Emmett's unadorned, gentle prose, Mole never seems the least bit avaricious he's just genuinely enchanted by the moon's ethereal beauty. As was true in her Down in the Woods at Sleepytime, Cabban's creatures radiate genuine affection for one another. Keeping the detailing in her settings to a minimum there's just enough to provide a proper stage for Mole's pratfalls - Cabban lets the luminescence of the sky and moon hold center stage. It's easy to see why Mole is so thoroughly captivated. Ages 3-6.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

There is no denying the sleep-inducing qualities of Emmett's bedtime tale, so tender and delicate it could be the Platonic ideal for gentleness, while Cabban's illustrations add the softness of a night warmed by moonlight ... A sweet lesson in not getting what you want, yet getting what you need.

KIRKUS REVIEWS

A wonderful re-working of a classic tale ... There are noisy bits and some delightful repetitive phrases just right for joining in. The strong, rhythmic and sure-footed text is complemented by warm and atmospheric illustrations.

Roy Apps, CAROUSEL

Mole's expressive 'Hot-diggerty!' is a memorable opening to this endearing book where text and pictures are admirably matched ... There is a lot to talk about in this book with its gentle, appealing illustrations and great read-aloud text. It is just right for young children becoming more familiar with the world around them.

Gwynneth Bailey, BOOKS FOR KEEPS

This funny fable about an overreaching little mole delivers a reassuring moral for contemporary kids who want "the moon ... The comical, thought-provoking story gets a lift from Cabban's sweet art, which occasionally uses vertical panels to create a great cartoon effect.

Connie Fletcher, BOOKLIST

This delightful, simple story for 3 - 6 year-olds, with plenty of repetition and other opportunities for participation, lends itself well to drama, class assembly and other story-sharing situations. The language feels very 'natural', as if the story is being told rather than read ... Beautifully bold illustrations cover the whole page, so they can be easily seen by group audiences or enjoyed by individuals.

Natalie Ford, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for the TEACHING of ENGLISH

Dark blue skies and a glowing moon exude peace and serenity in this sweet book. Preschoolers will sympathize with Mole's attempts and sigh with contentment when they realize he has not ruined the treasure. The onomatopoeia scattered throughout makes this an appealing read-aloud. A pleasant, quiet offering

Anne Knickerbocker, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Jonathan Emmett and Vanessa Cabban have created one of my favourite books this year: "Bringing Down the Moon".

Jill Johnson Keeney, THE COURIER JOURNAL

With a lovely ending, this is a tale that will definitely charm readers of all ages.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW

A beautifully illustrated tale ... This is bedtime story material at it's best and the cover has a mole on the front poking a stick at the moon - what more could you possible want?

Jamie Hancock, OTTAKAR'S

The opening to this story is breathtaking in its simplicity ... The illustrations and the text are perfectly paired resulting in a most enjoyable, informative and entertaining read. A pure joy to read aloud as the use of language has been carefully and lovingly thought through, creating the most adorable little character who cannot fail but to evoke warmth and recognition in the young reader.

Rhian Tracey, TOP READS

Superbly written, this lovely bedtime tale should entrance.

Lee Littlewood, KID'S HOME LIBRARY

A magical story that lovingly emphasises the innocence of the young ... Imaginative picture layout is the perfect counterpoint to the lyrical text - a must read for younger children.

Elizabeth Keell, CAROUSEL

This is a beautiful, charming tale - a perfect bedtime story ... It’s a lovely tale and nicely illustrated.

Tina Hene, FAMILIES ONLINE

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Translation

Language
Title
Translator
Publisher
Hardcover ISBN
Paperback ISBN
Other ISBN
BUY at Amazon
Spanish (Castilian)
Bajar la luna del cielo
Mireia Ibáñez
Beascoa
844881343X
Hardcover
Catalan
El talp i la lluna rebonica
Antoni Cossimo
Beascoa
8448813448
china
China
小鼹鼠 摘月亮
卢芳
Beijing Yunaliu Classic Culture Ltd
 
 
9787221098214
(Part of a 4 paperback set of the first 4 Mole books)
Paperback
4 Book Set
Denmark
Danish
Mulle og Månen
Ilse M. Haugaard
Sesam
8711134925
Denmark
Dutch
Ik wil de maan*
Annelies Jorna
Van Goor
9000034035
Gift Pack
(Board Book&
Mole Soft Toy)
900003597X
Finland
Finnish
Myyrä Tahtoo Kuun
Raija Viitanen
Mäkelä
9518821658
France
French
Une Taupe au Clair de Lune
Christophe Tranchant
Gründ
2700048458
2871423628
Hardcover
Paperback
Frisian
Mol wol de moanne ha
Hermien van der Meer
Afûk
9062736009
Gaelic
A' Glusad na Gealaich
Norma Nicleòid
Acair
086152733X
Paperback
Germany
German
Fang den Mond kleiner Molle
Matthias Mala
arsEdition
3760713351
Hardcover
Was leuchtet in der Nacht?
(Current Edition)
Peter Ahorner
Annette Betz
9783219115475
   
Hardcover
Greek
Θα κατεβάσω το φεγγάρι!
Άννα Παπασταύρου
Αίσωπος
9608240034
Hebrew
להוריד את הירח
אירית ארב
Kinneret
9655172139
Hungarian
Ide nekem a Holdat!
Parnaki Ágnes
Naphegy Kiadó
9789638728128
Italian
Voglio prendere la luna!
Nord-Sud
Hardback & DVD
9788882038731
Hardcover
Japanese
ぼく、おつきさまがほしいんだ
おびか ゆうこ
Tokuma Shoten
(BFC)
9784198615826
Hardcover
Korean
달따고 싶어
Moonjin
8972608211
Slovenia
Polish
Jak ztapac ksiezyc
Katazzynz Domanska
Egmont
8323788928
Portugal
Portuguese
Eu Quero a Lua
 
Presença
9789722358842
Slovenia
Slovenian
Kako je Krtek Klatil Luno
Metka Bartol
Ucila
9612333769
Sweden
Swedish
Mullvaden och Månen
Ulrika Berg
Sjöstrands Förlag
9175745291

* Winner of the Kiekeboekprijs 2003 (Best Pre-school Book in The Netherlands)