Around the time we are were about to welcome our first child, a co-worker of my husband told us about a recently published book her husband had written and illustrated. (It seemed so funny to know an author or illustrator then, how different it feels now.) We immediately went out and purchased it.
Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Sasha became one of our favorite family read aloud's, a book pulled from the shelf again and again. Part magical journey, part beautiful family relationship, and part seaside childhood, this book is so many things and the best of them is the art. The illustrations are a celebration of all that this book represents. We would look and look at the scenes, taking the story in. The years have passed, my children are older, and this book now sits on the favorite family reads bookshelf.
Night of the Moonjellies may sit on the shelf, but the story actively lives within us, as evidenced by today's experience. My now twenty-one-year old daughter and I were at the New England Aquarium today. (Lucky me, it's February vacation and she's doing her full practicum for teaching, so has the same week off!)
We were down in the jellies exhibit, looking at the moon jellies when we both said, "This makes me think of Night of the Moonjellies," and just like that we were holding this story in our hearts at the same time. We were transported. We were here and there, back then and right now. This is the gift of shared reading experiences. This day was memorable before this experience, but added to that will be new memories now attached to this one book. "Yes, I remember the time we were at the aquarium looking at the jellies..."
More sights from our visit to the
New England Aquarium!