Max and I were honored to be invited to participate in the Blog Tour for Jesse Wilson’s The Night the Moon Ate My Room! Not only will you find our review below the synopsis of the story, but you’ll also find our interview with the author followed by a Rafflecopter giveaway. Enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Night the Moon Ate My Room! along with an “11 x 15″ custom illustration!
Maybe because it was moving towards me…
After giving the worst violin recital of his life, and being laughed at by the entire school, the boy vows to never play music again. Later that night, when the moon swallows up his bedroom, it shares the secrets of being a true artist, helping the boy re-claim his self-confidence, overcome the pitfalls of perfectionism, and believe in his own dream.
Each of the five stories in The Night the Moon Ate My Room! is designed for young readers to experience the joy of self-discovery, valuable life lessons, and the adventure of turning their greatest dreams into reality.
The Night the Moon Ate My Room! is a bit too old for Max, so I read it alone this first time.
There are some pictures in the book to spark the imagination, but for a two-year-old they aren’t plentiful enough for him to have a focus while I read the words. The words alone really spark the imagination, sharing the idea that we’re all responsible for our own dreams, that we can choose our attitudes and therefore our outcomes. I love that message and will share the book with Max when he’s old enough to sit still long enough to hear it.
Jesse Wilson’s chapter book is geared toward young elementary school children. I would say boys in particular, since the main character in the story is a boy, but as each story features different characters, and the overarching theme is imagination, both boys and girls will enjoy Wilson’s work.
I was reminded of Roald Dahl by the matter of fact prose, the fanciful imagery, and the new vocabulary (“gazlookas”). Since Dahl is one of my favorite authors ever – in any genre – this is certainly a point in Wilson’s favor.
Confession: When the stars spoke to the little boy, I heard them in the voices used by the stars in Dora. I think that might mean we watch too much Nickelodeon.
Interview with Jesse:
Snacks: What was your favorite book growing up?
Jesse: One of my favorite books– it’s so hard to just say ONE because I immediately feel like apologizing to the rest of the books I loved– but one of my favorite books growing up– and still growing up as an adult– is Maurice Sendak’s Outside Over There. For me, it’s exactly what every good book should have… risk and mystery, and great depths of beauty wrapped around a wonderful moral life lesson.
Snacks: Max’s dad played the violin growing up, and his mom played the piano and cello. How should Max choose which instrument to try?
Jesse: “Choosing an instrument…” I’m picturing the scene from Harry Potter where the shop keeper says, “The wand chooses you, Harry!” I think when you’re a kid, you’re going to wear a lot of hats, you’re going to be finding your voice, or what appears to be your voice, in so many instruments and styles and expressions and artistic mediums. I would say the most important thing for a beginning music student– even more than the actual instrument– is to try to get comfortable with the idea of following through with an instrument, because eventually you’re going to get to a place where you simply can’t stand it. It will make weird noises and feel very awkward in your hand, and that’s when you got to try to tough it out, and trust in the process of making music… to not give up. Give that instrument at least a year. You’ll develop a relationship with it, like a friend, hopefully. And then try something new if you’d like.
Snacks: Where did you find the courage to begin your one man show?
Jesse: It’s strange– I feel the most at home when I’m alone on stage, more than being in a crowd of people. Sometimes, definitely, I’ve gone through periods of self-doubt, and I have to go back and think about all the times I was inspired with something I experienced on stage. For me, the courage comes with remembering that people need to hear other peoples’ stories to live, and to discover that courage in their own lives. That’s the magic of making and sharing art.
Snacks: Are you living your dream? If so, how did you do it?
Jesse: I love the expression “living the dream.” You can be alive (hopefully!) but not always have the dream be a part of your life. It can still be hanging out in your dream world, doing nothing in there… but living the dream means that the dream is an active part of your daily life just like brushing your teeth or putting on a new T-Shirt. It’s real. I am living the dream, I’m happy to say. The dream may not always come out the way I see it so perfectly in my head, but it’s there, every day, someday a little, someday a lot, but it’s there.
Snacks: What was one thing your mom and dad taught you that you’ll always remember?
Jesse: My parents are amazing. Among so many things, they taught me to share my gifts I was born with with one-hundred percent of my being. To celebrate being an artist with every fiber of my soul!
Snacks: Max wants to know: what’s your favorite snack?
Jesse: Oooh, now we’re getting down to the serious questions! Okay, here goes… drum roll… I LOVE CHEESE AND CRACKERS! This, above all, is my pen-ultimate comfort snack. Salami or Turkey and a fat layer of swiss cheese topped on about ten Triskets smothered in an ample amount of mustard. Oooh, think I’ll have to go have a snack now!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jesse Wilson is an author, motivational performer, illustrator, and teacher. A life-long involvement with theatre and film as both performer and writer began early, growing up in Hollywood, CA, where he performed in plays, TV shows and commercials. A graduate of the LA High School for the Performing Arts, Jesse traveled east to attain a BFA for theatre in the prestigious Juilliard School. Remaining in New York, and later Philadelphia, he developed material for his one-man shows, performed throughout the region. His most recent production, “Face the City,” written for high school and college audiences, combines visual and animation projections in a multimedia presentation of the artist’s journey to find themselves in the “real world.” The Night the Moon Ate My Room! written and performed with music for young audiences to experience self-discovery, is created with the support of The Kennedy Center’s Imagination Celebration and Pikes Peak Library District.
Coming soon this year, building upon the success of The Night the Moon Ate My Room! a series of empowering books for children, written and illustrated by Jesse Wilson, will be published under the title Brilliant Mistakes!
One visitor of the this blog will win a signed paperback copy of The Night the Moon Ate My Room! along with an “11 x 15″ custom illustration! Click here to get to the Rafflecopter to enter.