The Moon of Kyiv

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Book Review, Illustrated book, Poetry, Translation

The Moon of Kyiv (cover)

Book Details

The Moon of Kyiv
Gianni Rodari, illus. Beatrice Alemagna. Newbury: Walker Books, hb. 978 1 5295 1323 3, 2022, £9.99, 32pp.
Illustrated book, poetry, translation, 5+ years

This deceptively simple poem was written by Italian author and academic Rodari over 70 years ago. Here it is presented in picture book form with illustrations by the award-winning Beatrice Alemagna.

Rodari’s concept is that the same moon shines on all of us, a timeless idea that reminds us of the connections between us, and of the world that we share. The language of the poem is in the form of a dialogue with the moon.

Optimistic and hopeful in tone, the poem’s message is reinforced by the illustrations which are warm and child-friendly, almost childlike. The colour palette is a rich mixture of blues and gold, with browns and yellows. The final image of swinging children attached to moonbeams is accompanied by the poem’s lines – ‘and my moonbeams don’t need passports to travel and live free.’

100% of the book’s net profits will be donated by Walker Books to the Save the Children fund for supporting children impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.

It is a good time to start exploring the work of the Italian superstar Gianni Rodari, as his thinking will underpin many of the ideas of the next IBBY Congress in Trieste in 2024, Join the revolution! Giving every child good books.


Review by Pam Dix