Moon Over the Mountain, by Keith Polette
Four out of five stars
This story is about repeated discontent, it opens with a brief explanation of Agipito, a poor stonecutter. Every day he travels to the mountain and with his hammer and chisel carves off sections and then shapes them into items that he can sell in his small shop.
One day, Agipito spots a rich merchant eating a juicy piece of fruit and wearing fine clothes with expensive rings on his fingers. Right then, Agipito wishes that he too were a rich merchant, for he is a very unhappy man. That night, the Spirit of the Desert grants his request.
However, as is the case with so many wishes, Agipito concentrates on the problems that this creates and when he watches his fruit quickly spoil in the hot sun, he wishes that he were the sun. Once again, the Spirit of the Desert grants his wish. When Agipito is again frustrated by what he cannot do as the sun, he makes yet another wish. This process continues until he finally finds a form that he is contented with, although it is not one that would satisfy most people.
The theme of this story is that it is fine to wish for things to be better in your life, but when it happens you should not concentrate on the things that are not quite right and live a discontented life. No matter what you are, there will be some things that you cannot do.
The illustrations are very colorful and expressive, sure to attract and retain the eyes of young readers. The level of the text is approximately that of the second grade reader, although children will enjoy having it read to them.