A baby sloth falls from a tree in the picture book 'Mama in the Moon': NPR

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books


hide caption

change caption

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

mama in the moon 9780593698204 1 custom ccecc0201660a1aa5363eb430e4157114ca812e6

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

Doreen and Brian Cronin are not related as far as they know. They first met on Facebook: two Cronins, both working in the world of children's books – Doreen as an author and Brian as an illustrator – and living in the same city? They should probably get a cup of coffee!

“We decided to meet up. We both live in Brooklyn and we met on a bench in Prospect Park to just chat,” Doreen Cronin explains, “and that was three years ago.”

They didn't waste the perfect meet-cute – we hit it off, both personally and professionally. Soon they were dating And to collaborate.

“We're in it now!” Doreen laughs.

The Cronins admit that they were initially a little hesitant about working together as a new couple. Brian had never worked with an author before. But they couldn't really do anything about it, says Doreen.

“We were both working on that all day,” she explains. “We always talk about books. We always talk about ideas.” Fortunately it worked.

“I really love it,” says Brian. “I think it made us stronger.”

Their first picture book together was last year Laurens and Sophia. They quickly followed suit Mom in the moon, about a baby sloth who falls from a tree at night and has to wait for his mother to slowly come and get him.

mama in the moon 9780593698204 2 custom 49dcd12c06df36c1150415446e8f9330525f67ba

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books


hide caption

change caption

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

mama in the moon 9780593698204 2 custom 49dcd12c06df36c1150415446e8f9330525f67ba

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

They came up with the idea Mom in the moon during breakfast – Doreen says they eat and drink a lot – and that morning Brian had just read a news report.

“It was a news story about a sloth that had fallen out of a tree,” he says. “It felt real. It is real.” That's because sloths fall from trees about once a week throughout their lives. “It kind of wrote itself,” says Brian. By the time they left the restaurant, Doreen had already made some notes and Brian already had some drafts for their second children's book.

'Baby loved sleeping between his mother and the moon' Doreen Cronin writes.

“One night Baby tumbled out of the tree. He landed in a soft patch of vines and leaves.

“Mom, where are you?” he called.”

Mom in the moon

Mom in the moon

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books


hide caption

change caption

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

Mom in the moon

Mom in the moon

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

“We were in tears when we finished it and read it for the first time,” says Doreen.

“I actually was,” Brian adds.

“We're both parents, so we kind of know that — well, all parents know this — your child's sense of separation,” Doreen explains. “When they're waiting for you to come back or they need your comfort, and you can't always get there.”

In the story, Mama Sloth comforts and reassures Baby Sloth. “I'm coming,” she says. She distracts him and asks him to use all his senses to explore the dark world around him.

“Are you close now, Mom?” the baby sloth shouts from the ground.

“'I'm closer, baby. I'm close enough to smell the flowers opening for the night. Can you smell them too?'”

“Baby saw the bright petals of the flowers bend and fold. He could smell their sweet perfume,” Doreen Cronin writes.

mama in the moon 9780593698204 4 custom e492da5ba9b1a2097a7863489baf60af33734f98

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books


hide caption

change caption

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

mama in the moon 9780593698204 4 custom e492da5ba9b1a2097a7863489baf60af33734f98

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

The mother sloth's tenderness for her baby sloth really shines through in Brian's art, says Doreen. “I have seen the art so many times. I can still feel her love, her comfort and her calm.”

Brian Cronin says his process for creating art is very simple: He doesn't have any. “Every time I start something, it's a beginning of sorts.” For Mom in the moon, he started with pencil sketches. He then used gouache and a marker for the trees to create a broken line effect.

“I wanted it to feel like there was a human behind the thing,” he says.

One of the challenges of illustrating this story is that it takes place at night. How do you add light so that it doesn't feel too scary and dark? “The moon,” says Brian. The bright, fluffy orb (blurred to mimic the sloths' fur) is on most pages, or otherwise lights up the night sky. The baby sloth is bright salmon pink amid the dark foliage. And when Mama Sloth points out everything that Baby Sloth can smell (like the flowers opening for the night), and hear (like the worms wriggling in the fallen leaves), and feel (like the flutter of moths dancing in the air), they come to life against the charcoal pages in bright, almost neon, yellow, pink, blue and green tones.

Brian Cronin says he hopes the book will help children fall asleep.

“The reason I wanted to do the dark pages was so that when they're in bed and mom and dad, or whoever is reading the book, they're not disturbed by the text or the brightness of anything, and they can just have a suck it up a bit,” he explains. “It's quite relaxing, I think.”

Doreen Cronin agrees.

“I think it's comfort and safety, and I think it puts us in a kind of quiet space,” she says, “and I hope that's true, in the world. Give us some quiet space. Give children a quiet space.”

mama in the moon 9780593698204 5 custom 2758c508c3f0137d171bb578e07199afa70a0128

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books


hide caption

change caption

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

mama in the moon 9780593698204 5 custom 2758c508c3f0137d171bb578e07199afa70a0128

Illustrations © 2024 Brian Cronin/Rocky Pond Books

Related Posts

Six scary predictions that early science fiction authors got completely wrong

Since the genre's inception, science fiction writers have imagined what the future could hold for Earth and beyond. While their stories are often fantastical, many of them anticipated technologies that…

Panic around transfemininity shaped by colonialism and segregation: Code Switch: NPR

Author Jules Gill-Peterson poses next to the cover of her recent book, A brief history of transmisogyny Headshot author via publisher hide caption change caption Headshot author via publisher Author…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

How grounding came into existence and its modern applications

  • June 19, 2024
How grounding came into existence and its modern applications

As 'zombie deer disease' spreads, scientists search for answers

  • June 19, 2024
As 'zombie deer disease' spreads, scientists search for answers

Here are Wall Street's favorite picks in the S&P 500 for the second half of the year

  • June 19, 2024
Here are Wall Street's favorite picks in the S&P 500 for the second half of the year

Here is the complete list of hurricane names for the 2024 season

  • June 19, 2024
Here is the complete list of hurricane names for the 2024 season

How to protect yourself from a passive-aggressive partner

  • June 19, 2024
How to protect yourself from a passive-aggressive partner

Large wildfires create weather that promotes more fire

  • June 19, 2024
Large wildfires create weather that promotes more fire

Britain is investigating HPE's planned $14 billion takeover of Juniper Networks

  • June 19, 2024
Britain is investigating HPE's planned $14 billion takeover of Juniper Networks

Nvidia overnight rally lifts chip-related stocks in Asia on AI optimism

  • June 19, 2024
Nvidia overnight rally lifts chip-related stocks in Asia on AI optimism

Six scary predictions that early science fiction authors got completely wrong

  • June 19, 2024
Six scary predictions that early science fiction authors got completely wrong

Navigating the home buying process: tips for first-time buyers

  • June 19, 2024
Navigating the home buying process: tips for first-time buyers

What we want from food: Energy, muscle strength and better health

  • June 19, 2024
What we want from food: Energy, muscle strength and better health