Nancy Garhan Attebury
How The Moon Regained Her Shapeby Janet Ruth Heller, Ben Hodson (Illustrator)
This fascinating story influenced by Native American folktales explains why the moon changes shape and helps children deal with bullies. After the sun insults and bullies her, the moon feels so badly hurt that she shrinks and leaves the sky. The moon turns to a comet and her many friends on earth to comfort her. Her friends include rabbits and Native Americans. Then she regains her full shape, happiness, and self-esteem. The moon also returns to her orbit. An educational appendix called “For Creative Minds” gives advice about bullying, scientific information about the moon, and ideas for related crafts, recipes, and games for children.
Nancy Garhan Attebury
Meet the Author
Janet Ruth Heller (How the Moon Regained Her Shape) has her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. After a career of almost 30 years of teaching at various colleges and universities, she is currently an assistant professor for the English Department at Western Michigan University. She has taught a wide variety of classes, including creative writing and literature for children. Janet is a prolific writer of poetry and stories that have been published in a wide variety of magazines and journals. She is a founding mother of Primavera, a literary magazine based in Chicago. Her book of literary criticism, Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama, was published in 1990 by the University of Missouri Press.
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Did you know that through the years, people have often used folklore to understand natural events? Modern children's books can be influenced by these folktales too. One day the sun bullies the moon. The moon feels very bad and shrinks until she is a sliver of her former self and becomes nearly invisible. However, with the help of a comet and a big woman named Round Arms, and with the encouragement of several friends, such as Painted Deer, a mother rabbit, and one hundred women dancing, the moon returns to the sky. Now, whenever she dwindles, she remembers her friends and regains her fullness. In the tradition of Native American folklore, author Janet Ruth Heller, a professor at Western Michigan University, provides a fascinating story that not only can form the basis for studying the phases of the moon but also teaches an important lesson on how to handle bullying. It is nicely illustrated with Native American type drawings by Ben Hodson. Sylvan Dell always has a "For Creative Minds" section in the back of each book, and How the Moon Regained Her Shape contains three pages of "Moon Observations" including Native American names for each of the year's full moons, plus one page on "How to Deal with Bullies." In addition, there are even more online resources and activities related to the book at Sylvan Dell's website. The book is both fun and educational.
The moon was "round and full" and she loved to dance across the sky at night, laughing and smiling "as she twirled her skirts." While the moon normally danced in the sky when it was dark, one time she danced during the day, right across the face of the sun. The sun was quite angry at this unexpected interruption and he insulted the moon as he told her to go away. The moon was very sorry for what she had done. Apologizing to the sun, the moon stopped dancing and quietly went away, gradually getting smaller and smaller until "she was just a sliver of her former self." A comet saw how dejected the moon looked and went to her to see what was wrong. The comet suggested that the moon find Round Arms, a woman who might be able to help the moon. Round Arms was a very smart woman who showed the moon just how important she was to the creatures of the Earth. This is a sweet tale that tackles two unrelated topics beautifully. Young readers will learn about the phases of the moon as they see the moon change from a full, round moon to a small sliver, and then back to her former full-sized self. There are also three pages at the back of the book explaining the various phases of the moon. The other theme of the book is how to deal with bullies as the moon is insulted by the sun and must learn to deal with her hurt feelings. As with the moon phases, there is a page at the back of the book discussing bullies and suggestions on how to deal with them. Written in the style of a Native American folktale (note that it is not an authentic Native American legend), the story is a blend of storytelling mixed with simple lessons. The artwork perfectly matches the Native American theme and is bright and captivating. The book has won numerous awards for both the story and artwork and is likely to become a favorite of many children. Quill says: A sweet book that wonderfully blends storytelling and education.
This is a wonderful story that teaches children to find their value and beauty and not to let others put them down.
The artwork is amazing in this book. It's truly "art".
If you have children this is a MUST HAVE book. I think this would be great to have in a classroom library too.
My pre-schoolers did not like this book. However, I believe this book is geared toward elementary school children. The story is influenced by a Native American folk tale. The illustrations and story keep the Native American theme throughout. In this story, the sun makes fun of the moon. The moon sulks and changes in size and shape. The moon finally realizes her wealth. She regains her shape and size. The illustrations are bright and bold. The words are simple to sound out. The theme is important. This is a book for all elementary school children¿boys and girls. Teachers will be able to use the book in the classroom.