LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.
Featured title: Under the Lemon Moon
Author: Edith Hope Fine
Illustrator: René King Moreno
Synopsis: One night, Rosalinda is awakened by a noise in the garden. When she and her pet hen, Blanca, investigate, they see a man leaving with a large sack-full of fruit from Rosalinda’s beloved lemon tree.
After consulting with family and neighbors about how to save her sick tree, Rosalinda sets out in search of La Anciana, the Old One, the only person who might have a solution to Rosalinda’s predicament. When she finally meets La Anciana, the old woman offers an inventive way for Rosalinda to help her tree–and the Night Man who was driven to steal her lemons.
Awards and Honors:
- Honor Book Award, Society of School Librarians International
- Notable Children’s Book, Smithsonian Magazine
- Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies/ Children’s Book Council
- The 50 Best Children’s Books, Parents Magazine
- Parent’s Choice Silver Award, Parent’s Choice Foundation
- Children’s Books Mean Business, Children’s Book Council (CBP)
From the author:
“I can’t help grinning when I look back on my years of Under the Lemon Moon school visits. This book came about from a San Diego news story about a lemon grove that had been vandalized—lemons were taken, trees damaged—a little lemon seed of an idea.
Young readers gasp when I tell them I worked and reworked 42 versions before sending out the manuscript. They brawk like Blanca the chicken, make butterflies with their hands, and echo “Gracias” on cue. They hear, then say, the key opening line, “Deep in the night Rosalinda heard noises,” moving their hands to catch the rhythm of the words. They get their first taste of magical realism as La Anciana helps Rosalinda heal her damaged lemon tree and gain a sense of empathy when learning more about the Night Man.
I’ve now written eighteen books (including Armando and the Blue Tarp School and Snapshots! with Lee & Low) but Lemon Moon, with René King Moreno’s warm illustrations, was my first picture book and has garnered numerous awards. Thanks to my critique group’s patient support, plus Lee & Low’s Spanish translation and attention to back list, Lemon Moon still sells well today. With its subtle theme of sharing and forgiveness, this book still holds a special place in my heart.” –Edith Hope Fine
Resources for teaching with Under the Lemon Moon:
- Under the Lemon Moon Teacher’s Guide
- Dig Deeper: Under the Lemon Moon Activities
- Beyond the Page: Under the Lemon Moon
- What Does Close Reading Look Like in Second Grade?
Book activities from author, Edith Hope Fine:
Lemons have a special scent. Scents can trigger memories from long ago. Choose objects with distinct smells, such as a lemon drop, a flower, a crayon, a Band-aid, a piece of pine, cinnamon, peanut butter on a cracker, etc. Put each object into a separate plastic bag. Choose one bag, without peeking. Now open the bag and waft the scent toward your nose with your hand. (That’s the safe way to pick up scents in the air-you’ll do that in science in high school.) That scent may bring back a strong memory. Write about what you remember.
Bake Lemon Moon Cookies
- 6 Tablespoons shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons “zest” (grated lemon peel; add more if you love the lemony zing)
- 1 capful lemon extract
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar.
Add milk, egg, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix well.
Add lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet, two inches apart.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the cookies are just turning golden.
Under the Lemon Moon is also available in Spanish: Bajo la luna de limón
Have you used Under the Lemon Moon? Let us know!
Celebrate with us! Check out our 25 Years Anniversary Collection
Veronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.