The moon comforts a little girl who is scared and alone in the bilingual children’s book Solita and the Purple Moon (Solita y la Luna Morada).
A lonely girl named Solita is greeted by a moon that’s purple, her favorite color, outside her bedroom window. The moon tells her it will come at bedtime each night to keep her company. Indeed, every night, Purple Moon plays with Solita, even changing shape to entertain her—until, one dark, windy evening, Purple Moon fails to show, and Solita falls asleep crying. Readers also learn that the little girl’s mother has been gone, although it’s unclear where she is or why she left. The next night, Purple Moon reappears and stays with the girl until morning.
Later, on one glorious visit, the moon appears in a crescent shape and invites Solita to grab hold; they fly across the country, sighting trees, mountains, and rivers. Soon, the girl’s mother reappears and reads the girl’s favorite book to her, in a happy reunion.
The book is written in English, with the Spanish translation directly below. The writing has a gentle, dreamlike quality. Repetition provides a soothing rhythm, such as Purple Moon’s pledge to bring playmates to “dance by your window, all night, all night.”
The book’s design, with starry, purple borders, add to the enjoyment. Each page of text is matched with an illustration page. While unpolished, the pictures contribute to the book’s dreamlike effect.
The main flaw is that the mother’s absence is never explained, although the book’s dedication “to all the children of our men and women serving our country” gives a clue, as does the mother’s outfit—a roughly drawn, hard-to-discern uniform—when she returns. A more overt handling of this would be less confusing and potentially upsetting to young children.
Still, the story’s lyrical tone is lovely, and it ends with a comforting message: Despite the pain of a temporary absence, connections endure and parents eventually return.
Also available as an ebook.