Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

When the Moon Comes

Harbridge, Paul (Author)
James, Matt (Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2017. 40 pages
First published: 2017
ISBN: 9781101917770 (hardcover)
9781101917787 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, layout, multimodal, point of view, setting

Awards

Governor General’s Literary Award – Finalist – 2017
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award – 2018
TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award – Finalist – 2018

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

A quote from Stephen Leacock provides the perfect epigraph for this starry story, which captures all the magic of one of Canada’s most cherished traditions: “In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.”

Gliding forward in poetic prose, the narrator’s descriptions of December awaken all the senses. We can actually hear how cold it is: “For a week it is twenty below freezing, and when you walk in the woods, the leaves shatter under your feet like glass.” The cold stirs the children’s desires to hit the ice, but their leader, Arthur, elevates hockey to a ritual that must unfold in harmony with nature: “‘No. We have to wait for the moon.’”

Excitement mounts as the moon grows, its fullness a sign that the moment is ripe. Dreamy illustrations, rendered in acrylics and India ink on board, further heighten the children’s pilgrimage to their outdoor skating rink. Rich and rustic, these capture the moon’s powerful glow reflected on the ice. Meanwhile, text shimmers poetically: “It is dark, dark now, and the face of sky is freckled with stars. But on the far side of the flood, the sky is brighter behind the trees. The moon is rising.”

Inspiring deep wonder for nature, this exquisite story reminds readers of the bewitching beauty of an outdoor rink, drawing them “Back to that silent slash of silver in the cold, black night.”

  •  

    Discuss fond memories of winter adventures.

  •  In this story, for hockey to be possible, the kids must harmonize with nature, prepare for the chill and deal with the bitter cold. What do they do to manage their warmth?
  •  

    There are only kids in this story, with no mention of parents. How does the absence of adults affect the tone of the story?

  •  

    Find the quote: “The moon wants to pull me out the window and take me back.” Write about what the author means by “the moon wants.”

  •  

    Discuss an outdoor adventure you have enjoyed on a winter evening.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk and discuss the setting, characters, art and natural elements. Make connections with your own outdoor adventures.

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, discuss which elements help you confirm that the ice on the pond is strong enough for a hockey game. What other elements should you be careful about?

  •  

    There are only children, no adults, in this story. Compare and contrast this situation with how you would plan such a game in your community.

  •  Very often, small towns don’t have hockey arenas or sports complexes nearby. What do you believe kids and teens in small, rural communities do to play ice hockey? In a small group, discuss your answers, taking obstacles, rewards and adventure into consideration.
  •  While you read, imagine yourself living in the town described in the text. Would you be happy living there?
  •  

    Write a poem, using metre and rhyme, to describe the kids’ hockey night in small town Canada.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Education and Health