The Moon Shines Down

The Moon Shines Down

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From the lost manuscripts of renowned children's author Brown, this bedtime story is based on the classic New England Sampler prayer, God Bless the Moon and God Bless Me. The poetic verse of the text shows a child praying for God's blessing on children in different parts of the world and themselves as the moon shines down on them all.
Publisher: Nashville, Tenn. : T. Nelson
Copyright Date: ©2008
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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BGRivera
May 05, 2019

Supposedly, this book was found fifty-six years after the death of Margaret Wise Brown in a dusty, tucked-away trunk. It was incomplete and finished by Laura Minchew. It is not lost on me that Minchew did not list herself as an author on this book. For starters, this book is culturally problematic. Second, there are several errors. It’s hard to know which author interjected all the prejudices and inaccuracies found in this book. Perhaps they both share blame. Regardless, this book is not going to delight a whole new generation of children that are increasingly of color and have a greater understanding of the world. At best, this book is out of touch with our modern world. At worst, it’s a bigoted piece of work.

Let’s look at some of the cultural problems with this book. It is ethnocentric and biased towards white and western cultures. For example, the children of the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Australia and England all get two pages each. In contrast, the children of Japan, Korea, China, Laos and Vietnam are all lumped together on two pages as the children of the “Far, Far East.” The entire continent of Africa is also lumped together on two pages and only the country of Zimbabwe is even mentioned. In reality, Africa is a huge continent with 54 countries.

This next example of ethnocentrism really irked me; all the children in the book get blessed except for the children in Mexico and Africa. See the examples below.
Netherlands: “O God bless him (the Dutch boy) and God bless me.
Switzerland: “And God Bless me, And the children asleep in the Swiss Country.”
“Far, Far East”: “And God bless the children in the Far, Far east.”
France: “And God bless me, And the little French children…”
Australia: “God bless… the Australian kids.”
England: “And God bless me, And the English boys…”

Who gets blessed in Mexico? The authors write, “And God bless the Toucan with her funny nose.”

And who gets blessed in Africa? No one. The authors do not write the refrain “God bless the Moon and God bless…” at all in reference to Africa. Instead they write, “I see the Moon and the Moon sees me, And the moon sees the children in Zimbabwe.”

Now, let’s look at the errors in the book. Mandarin is Chinese, but the authors list them as two separate languages. Perhaps they meant to say Cantonese and Mandarin? Also, Laotian is not a language. They definitely meant Lao. At the end of the book, Africa is listed as a country. Again, Africa is a continent with over 50 countries. There are no excuses for these kinds of mistakes; they could have been avoided with a small amount of research.

in short, this book should have remained forgotten in that cedar trunk in Vermont.

YogiMumma Apr 28, 2012

Nice book. Calming and some rhyming words. Illustrations are lovely. Mentions Christianity.

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