To the Moon and Back for You by Emilia Bechrakis Serhant

To the Moon and Back for You by Emilia Bechrakis Serhant
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

I swam through the deepest ocean.
I climbed the tallest mountain.
Finding you was a journey.
And meeting you was my greatest joy.
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In this picture book, illustrated by the #1 New York Times bestselling artist of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, families of different shapes, colors, and sizes must cross deserts, navigate rough seasons, and climb mountains–all to find their miracle babies. Emilia’s story reminds us that, despite the challenges and complications often thrown our way, hope will always prevail. To the Moon and Back for You combines a timeless feel with a timely subject, and is poised to become a modern classic for years to come.

Sometimes Mother’s Day is a celebration of a long and difficult journey.

There was so much love in this story. The main character waited a long time to become a parent, and her determination to finally be someone’s mom made me smile. There is definitely something to be said for showing moms who are as selfless and loving as this one. She was a good role model for young readers, and the depth of her feelings for her child were expressed well.

While I completely understood the metaphorical nature of the main character’s journey to parenthood, it was so abstract that the plot never really thickened into something most small children would appreciate. The audience saw the mother climbing a tall mountain and struggling to walk in hot, dusty desert, but the storyline never explained why these challenges were necessary in order for her to be able to find her baby. Everything was tilted so far in the favor of adult readers who can read between the lines that I’m not entirely sure how much this would appeal to the average small child unless the grownups in their lives explained some stuff in advance.

One of the beautiful things about this picture book was just how open-ended it was about how the main character eventually became a mother. Was her child conceived through fertility treatments? Did they adopt their baby? Is it possible the main character and her spouse signed up to be foster parents? Readers were free to come up with all sorts of explanations about how this baby came into her parents’ lives. The plot could have been interpreted to include any family planning option that currently exists which makes this useful for so many different types of families.

I’d recommend To the Moon and Back for You to any family who had a long or difficult journey when they decided they wanted to have a new baby.

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