By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Foley, Greg. Willoughby & the Moon. Harper, 2010. Ages 5-7. Foley’s second picture book is another surreal peek into a child’s world of wonder. The little boy Willoughby can’t get to sleep because the night is just too dark. Where has all the moonlight gone? Then he notices a glow beneath his closet door. When he investigates, he finds a scared snail on top of the moon, searching for the silver ball he’s lost. The illustration showing the brave boy willing to help his new friend is worth the price of the book. Using the snail’s map, the two embark on a journey through the moon and eventually, Willoughby returns to his very own bed. The stunning illustrations, with their deep blacks and luminous silvers, make this a stylish and unusual bedtime book worth savoring.
More Moon Stories and Poetry …
and share your favorites by leaving a comment .

  • Bruchac, Joseph. Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back. Ages 7+ Penguin, 1992. Poems from Native American legends celebrate the seasons of the year.
  • Burleigh, Robert. One Giant Leap. Penguin, 2009. Ages 7+ Burleigh uses dramatic free verse to give children an engaging view of what it was like to land on the moon, as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong did. Mike Wimmer’s oil paintings help enliven this exciting true story.
  • Costa, Deborah. Hanukkah Moon. Lerner, 2007. Ages 6-8.  When Isobel goes to stay with Aunt Luisa, an artist from Mexico, she is surprised to see a banner that reads “Feliz Januca ” hanging over the fireplace. Her aunt will gently open her eyes to a different way of celebrating Hanukkah and the time of the new moon. Warm, glowing watercolor and crayon illustrations evoke the affection that develops between the child and her aunt.
  • Dayrell, Elphinstone. Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky. Ill. by Blair Lent. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. All ages. Humorous African folktale tells how the sun and water were once friends who both lived on earth. But when water comes to visit, sun and his wife, moon, are crowded out of their home and land in the sky.
  • Florian, Douglas. Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings. Houghton, 2007. All ages. Florian’s inventive poems put a fresh spin on the night sky. The brief, witty lines amuse, inform, and sometimes even swirl, with Florian’s bright, playful paintings sure to please curious children.
  • Henkes, Kevin. Kitten’s First Full Moon. Harper, 2004. Ages 3-6. Why not experience the full moon from the perspective of a silly kitten? Deceptively simple and visually alluring, Henkes’ rhythmic story of a kitten who confuses the full moon with a bowl of milk is a treat for young ones. Use this to teach young ones visual literacy; have them look for shapes and patterns, just as the kitten does.
Lewis, Naomi. Illus. by P. J. Lynch. East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon. Candlewick, 2005. Ages 8-12. A brave young woman must venture to a kingdom beyond the moon to rescue her husband from a troll. This edition is a stunning marriage of enchanting, detailed watercolor illustrations and a story that continues to hold an audience spellbound. Lewis, the masterful writer/translator who recently died, provides an interesting background for this Norwegian fairy tale.
  • Thurber, James. Thirteen Moons. Ages 8+ Thurber’s classic tale of the princess who wants the moon and the wise jester who offers it to her.
  • Yolen, Jane. The Moon Ribbon and Other Tales. Crowell, 1976. Ages 8-12. The title story is a haunting variation of Cinderella,  in which young Silva, mistreated by her cruel stepmother and two stepsisters, manages  to defend herself by making use of the ribbon of hair her actual mother gave her. The miraculous ribbon of hair transforms into a river and then a road, which leads her to the moon lady. This special helper teaches her that she has the power to choose to whom she gives her heart. The heart cannot be taken by force.
  • Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Penguin, 1987. Ages 5-8. Classic read-aloud features a girl and her father going out on a wintry moonlit night in search of owls.  Schoenherr’s watercolor washes add  magic to the quiet adventure.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robyn massey
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 21:33:35

    Willoughby and the Moon looks gorgeous and thanks for the list of “moon” books. What about Good Night Moon? I just read it tonight to my 4 and a half year old after introducing it to her as a newborn and it is still enjoyable.


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:44:19

      Yes, I love Goodnight Moon and have fond memories of reading it to my daughters. I decided to focus on books for slightly older children (ages 5-10), but it’s certainly a great one to read aloud to young ones. I’m glad you enjoyed the list. Stop by again! Each Wednesday I have a new post.


  2. :Donna Marie
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 11:54:50

    Janice, I’m so glad you brought this book (Willoughby and the Moon) to my attention! I browse the children’s department at B&N regularly and this is not in with the new releases! The cover looks beautiful and your description of the inside illustrations makes me want to see it even more so. Thank you!


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