Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Museum on the Moon: a review

Hello Friends. Thanks for being here!

I'm celebrating the publication of Irene Latham's most recent book, The Museum on the Moon: The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface (Moonshower '23) Hooray!

In June, Irene invited all of us to write moon poems to welcome this new book into the world. Maybe you wrote one like I did? But, just like a late party guest, we mistake for the birthday girl to shout SUPRISE! there was a bit of a delay for Museum on the Moon to make her debut. Sigh...we've been waiting ever since. 

As I type this, Amazon is having a tough time keeping up with pre-orders for this book--and I'm not surprised. It's beautiful.

The first beauty of MOTM to notice is the color palette of white, blues, orange, and teal. Illustrator Myriam Wares's art for these twenty-one poems about the moon during the years of the US Apollo missions is a mix of lunar cool and kid-friendly invitation.

The poems vary in style from acrostic to ghazal, golden shovel, triolet, and more. Each is paired with short, factual prose about objects on the moon that have turned Earth's closest natural satellite into a curious sort of museum.

There's a sweet poem about a family photo, a memorial poem for astronauts who gave their lives to the space program's development, and a sentimental poem for a man whose ashes were taken to the moon.  Latham has also included poems about things inquisitive kids want to know like what happens to poop when humans are on the moon.

Backmatter in MOTM describes the important people and events of the Apollo missions including the Soviets who inspired, competed with, and even helped NASA sometimes. We poets can soak up the wonderful descriptions of poetic forms and get a peek into Irene's amazing process of creating the book from a form index. 

My favorite poem from this book has to be, 'Lunar Library.' 

From The Museum on the Moon by Irene Latham. Illustrated by Myriam Ware. Moonflower Press. 2023

Of course, my fingers itched to poem back.

Lunar Librarian for the Museum on the Moon

Little free moon library you say?

One sun-bleached Bible inside?
Oh, my--that won’t do!

Young readers are coming; lunar-kids,
with curiosity and imagination–
they’ll be here soon!

Moon newbies need good story books,
cosmic jokes, celestial novels,

and cartoons.

And bedtime poetry. Owl Moon, Goodnight Moon,‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,
or, If You Were the Moon.

With young readers coming they’ll want to know
about the place itself, books of  moon facts
to be attuned. 

to the quiet, pull of the moon on ocean tides,
lovers, witches on brooms. and night owls who

hoot a verse or two.

Linda Mitchell 9/8/23

I hope you'll pick a copy of The Museum on the Moon to share with your favorite people.  Or, ask your local library to order a copy to share with lots of young people. That's what I've done. 

Congratulations to Irene on her beautiful and slightly overdue book. I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a thing or two about the Apollo missions along the way.

Thank you to Amy who is hosting our round-up this week at The Poem Farm this week. 

Word's poem on the padlet today is also a response to Amy LV's 2010 poem, Word Blanket.


  1. I love your ideas for a lunar library, Linda! And I agree that The Museum on the Moon is a must-have that everyone will love.

  2. What a delightful post! I can't wait to read and savor Irene's book. Thank you, Linda!

  3. Your poem is a perfect response to "Little Free Moon Library," Linda.

  4. Dear Linda: owls hooting their verses! I love that! thank you for your review. I do love imagining full library shelves up there. Wonderful! xo

  5. Oh, what a lovely dip into Irene's new book, and what a fun response you composed. I should have known you couldn't resist writing from a moon librarian's point of view! :D ❤️❤️

  6. I have it but still haven't shared it, a marvelous addition to moon books & your addition, Linda, with "lunar-kids" on the way, is just right.

  7. Linda, I am glad that you chose Irene Latham's The Little Free Moon Library to showcase. It was my number 2 choice to share as well. I see your imagination was sparked by that poem and you wrote a Lunar Library poem for curious young visitors to take on their virtual or someday live visit to the moon. Also, thanks for mentioning the delay in the book's arrival and another new padlet poem.

  8. Wonderful review! I can't wait to read Irene's book! Love your poem about a little lending library on the moon. So clever!

  9. What a fun and intriguing Lunar Library you've created Linda, thanks for your poem and your rich review of Irene's new book–looking forward to reading it!

  10. My copy arrived this week and I dove right in! I love your Librarian's reply, Linda... No banned books on the moon!

  11. Love Irene's poem and your response. Wouldn't it be grand if we could all do a field trip to the Lunar Library? Thanks for shining the spotlight on Irene's new book. Can't wait to see it!

  12. Such a fun response to Irene's poem! You'd make an awesome Lunar Librarian -- you're already outta this world!!

  13. Linda, what sweet responses you wrote after Irene's library poem, and the part 2 words poem with your Good Morning words of pen, journal and coffee. So precious!

  14. I love your poetic response to Irene's book and the sneak peek, too! What a great review. I'll definitely be seeking this one out!

  15. Your lunar librarian poem shaped up so well, just right response to Irene's poem. I am looking forward to this book. I love that there are a mix of forms to use with my students. We can do a whole week on the Moon!

  16. The poems here are extraordinary. What an imaginative project Irene had and your lunar Little Free Library is creative as well - filling it with books we all love and children should read. Thank you for giving us an inside look into this book! Congrats to Irene!

  17. This book sounds fabulous! Congratulations to Irene! There are never enough books! Moon newbies need new story books. Thanks for this review.

  18. Hi, friend! Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I'm well. I don't have a lot of bandwidth right now for blogging, but our new school year has started well and I'll be back as soon as I can! Thanks for thinking of me, and for this great post, which I hadn't seen yet. This book sounds just amazing.

  19. I can't wait to share this book with 4th grade!

  20. Linda! I will visit any library with you in charge. This poem delights me...that last stanza is hauntingly lovely. Thank you for sharing Irene's latest and your always-generous spirit. xo, a.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!