The Man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood Series #1)

The Man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood Series #1)

4.5 7
by William Joyce
     
 

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In the first book of a multibook series, find out how a round, jolly baby became the great white hope of the Milky Way—and ringleader of the Guardians of Childhood.

Up there in the sky.
Don’t you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon.

He wasn’t always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.

He was once a child.

Overview

In the first book of a multibook series, find out how a round, jolly baby became the great white hope of the Milky Way—and ringleader of the Guardians of Childhood.

Up there in the sky.
Don’t you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon.

He wasn’t always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.

He was once a child.
Like you.

Until a battle,
a shooting star,
and a lost balloon
sent him on a quest.

Meet the very first guardian of childhood.
MiM, the Man in the Moon.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joyce's (A Day with Wilbur Robinson) concoction, the inaugural offering in the Guardians of Childhood series (with films and 12 books to follow), is a rich, cinematic brew of steampunk fancies. His sumptuous spreads are crowded with rotund telescopes, Jules Verne rocket ships, and sherbet-bearing robots, all painted in a superb palette of indigo and gold. The infant Man in the Moon (named for the Moon Clipper, an extraterrestrial airship that disguises itself as a moon at night) is hidden away by his parents in order to escape the nefarious Pitch, "the King of Nightmares," renowned for "plundering planets, extinguishing stars, and scuttling every airship that crossed his path." Without his parents, but amply provided for, the acronymically nicknamed MiM grows up, round-faced and nattily dressed, orbiting Earth in the derelict clipper ("It was now just a moon"). Learning of the hopes and dreams of Earth's children, he gathers a team of fellow guardians to protect and console them. Joyce combines elemental fairyland themes—a cloistered heir, secret powers, mysterious good deeds—into a tale that's warm and fuzzy, swashbuckling, and dazzlingly inventive all at the same time. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"A fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairytale world. Dark. Mysterious. Stunning! " —MAURICE SENDAK, Caldecott-winning creator of Where the Wild Things Are

"William Joyce, to put it simply, is a genius, and we are lucky to have another book from him. The Man in the Moon is filled with tenderness, love, and enchantment. It's an unforgettable story that will leave readers wanting more...and luckily there IS more, because The Man in the Moon is just the first in the Guardian's of Childhood series, which will, I predict, take their rightful places in the hearts of children everywhere." —BRIAN SELZNICK, author/illustrator of the Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret

"Each of William Joyce's books has been more beautifully painted, more magically imagined and more deliciously written than the one that came before. The Man in the Moon is the latest dazzling masterpiece, the one we Joyceans, young and old, have been pining for. It instantly became my children's favorite book." —MICHAEL CHABON, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

* “Joyce's (A Day with Wilbur Robinson) concoction, the inaugural offering in the Guardians of Childhood series (with films and 12 books to follow), is a rich, cinematic brew of steampunk fancies. His sumptuous spreads are crowded with rotund telescopes, Jules Verne rocket ships, and sherbet-bearing robots, all painted in a superb palette of indigo and gold. The infant Man in the Moon (named for the Moon Clipper, an extraterrestrial airship that disguises itself as a moon at night) is hidden away by his parents in order to escape the nefarious Pitch, "the King of Nightmares," renowned for "plundering planets, extinguishing stars, and scuttling every airship that crossed his path." Without his parents, but amply provided for, the acronymically nicknamed MiM grows up, round-faced and nattily dressed, orbiting Earth in the derelict clipper ("It was now just a moon"). Learning of the hopes and dreams of Earth's children, he gathers a team of fellow guardians to protect and console them. Joyce combines elemental fairyland themes—a cloistered heir, secret powers, mysterious good deeds—into a tale that's warm and fuzzy, swashbuckling, and dazzlingly inventive all at the same time.”

- Publishers Weekly 7/4/11 *Starred Review*

* "William Joyce invents a breathtaking landscape for his history of the original guardian of childhood: the Man in the Moon. As a baby, MiM, as he is called, travels the skies in a golden-sailed Moon Clipper with his mother, father and Nightlight, a kind of fairy godfather. Each night, the vessel transforms into the Moon.

One day, Pitch, the King of Nightmares, with jet-black hair in up-floating coils as menacing as Medusa's snakes, hunts down this legendary child who has never had a bad dream. Nightlight whisks MiM away to safety, just before Pitch captures the child's parents. As Nightlight plunges his diamond dagger into Pitch's heart, an explosion results, and when MiM later reaches the Moon's surface, he sees the image of his parents etched in the stars. Their constellation offers MiM comfort, and the moon creatures rally around to educate and protect the baby.

Joyce's fans will relish the parallels with his earlier tour de force about a mythic man in a magical land, Santa Calls. Santa rides in his sleigh; MiM flies on his moth. Santa learns of children's wishes through letters; their hopes and dreams travel to MiM by helium balloons. When MiM comes up with a solution to children's nighttime fears, he recruits the Moon's minions and his team of earthling Guardians (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc.). Pitch and Nighlight's fates will be the subject of subsequent episodes, but this first adventure in the Guardians of Childhood series offers a visual feast and a complete mythology of the Man in the Moon." —Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness. STARRED REVIEW.

"Joyce’s prowess as an illustrator is undeniable, and this may well be his most ambitious, marvelous-looking title to date. Only a sure and meticulous hand could conjure up such luscious lunar moths and battling constellations."—Kirkus Reviews

"With the aura of an established classic, the first volume in Joyce’s long-anticipated series, “The Guardians of Childhood,” is worth the wait. And what a brilliant concept! The hero, MiM, or the Man in the Moon, is just the first beloved figure of childhood lore to get his own tale—the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost are to follow. With lots of detail in its gold-flecked blues, the lavish illustration will set 6-year-old minds ticking, and though the King of Nightmares makes an appearance, this is a story primarily about sweet."—The New York Times Book Review

This gorgeously strange picture book, the first in a projected series, traces the origins of the Man in the Moon, who, after losing his parents in a battle with the King of Nightmares, is raised by a retinue of giant glowworms and mice in tasseled sailor caps. Joyce’s shimmering images are at once adorable and otherworldly: a lunar moth bears the sleeping baby hero through space; at dinnertime, starfish swarm the sky.

The New Yorker (12/5/12)

"Resplendent, almost glowing."—The Wall Street Journal

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
William Joyce is a bit of an acquired taste. It also is not surprising that he holds enormous appeal for other children book artists like Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman, who also depict mysterious worlds and lost children. I cannot quite imagine a 4 or 5-year-old who could sit through, or follow, this complicated and quite text heavy story about how Mim lost his parents to evil forces and floated in the sky in a sailing ship dubbed the Moon Clipper. He wanders about until he finally makes his home in the moon, where he shares the comforting light of the Nightlight fairies with the children of earth. However, I can imagine individuals of all ages being drawn in and enchanted by the lush illustrations that take on dark overtones as Mim's parents send him off in the Moonclipper and gradually take on the warm light of the nighttime moon. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews

A visual feast cannot compensate for lackluster plotting in this first installment of a new mega-series that involves picture books, chapter books and (of course) a movie.

There are guardians of children everywhere that strive to keep kids safe from harm. Of these, the first was MiM, The Man in the Moon. Born to a loving family with a guardian named Nightlight to keep him safe from bad dreams, MiM's untainted sleep attracts the unwanted attention of Pitch, the King of Nightmares. When MiM's family and brave Nightlight perish in an attack, MiM lives out the rest of the days inside his family's ship (our own moon). Once grown, he determines to protect the children of nearby Earth and calls upon folks like Santa Claus, Mother Goose and the Tooth Fairy to join him in this goal. Joyce's prowess as an illustrator is undeniable, and this may well be his most ambitious, marvelous-looking title to date. Only a sure and meticulous hand could conjure up such luscious lunar moths and battling constellations. Sadly, the storytelling cannot live up to the visual presentation. Feeling more like an introductory tale than a full-blooded story in its own right, the old-fashioned–feeling narrative fails to find a plot.

Here's hoping that future installments in this ambitious series will spend less time on back story and more on story line. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pamela Paul
With the aura of an established classic, the first volume in Joyce's long-­anticipated series, "The Guardians of Childhood," is worth the wait. And what a brilliant concept!
—The New York Times Book Review
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—This debut title of the series spins a fantastical yarn about the origins of The Man in the Moon, aka MiM. As a child, he enjoys a safe and peaceful existence during the Golden Age, sailing among the planets with his parents on the Moon Clipper, a galactic ship. When the dark and evil Pitch, King of Nightmares, attempts to capture him, a blinding flash of light obliterates Pitch as well as MiM's parents. Now orphaned, the boy is stranded on his ship-turned-moon and is raised under the care of Moonbots, Moonmice, and Lunar Moths. Over time, he becomes aware of other children living on planet Earth and, upon reaching adulthood, assembles a variety of guardians (e.g., Santa Claus, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy) who vow to "watch over the children of Earth [and] guide them safely from the ways of harm." The resolution of this intricately plotted story begs for more; not only are additional books forthcoming, but also an animated film based on the series is slated for a 2012 release. Indeed, Joyce's full-color, multimedia artwork creates an out-of-this-world, cinematic setting and cast of characters, brimming with eerie and hilarious detail and a masterful juxtaposition of light and dark. Finely wrought motifs, inspired by classical architecture and old-fashioned measuring tools, embellish spot drawings, set off text, and underscore the tale's nostalgic tone. A natural bedtime story to share one-on-one, this book will also captivate independent readers who may have only just outgrown tales about the Sandman and other "Guardians of Childhood."—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442430419
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/06/2011
Series:
Guardians of Childhood Series, #1
Pages:
56
Sales rank:
172,671
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; Dinosaur Bob; Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.

William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; Dinosaur Bob; Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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The Man in the Moon 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie so this book really reveals what happened. I am 11 and I still read these kind of books. Haha...
ml6456 More than 1 year ago
A very cute story for little (and not so little!) people. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and alone are worth the price of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The illustrations are just beautiful and the story gives me heart. What's great about this book is that it's for everyone who still beleives, I mean, I'm 13, and some people might say that I'm getting too old for those kinds of stories, but I love this book and they're wrong!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful tale that begins the story of The Guardians series. An enjoyable read. Definately will make you want to read this series and then see the movies. Enjoy
LoopyGA More than 1 year ago
The illustrations in this book were what drew me to purchase it. The story is OK, but the illustrations make the book. The book begs to be animated. I've looked at the book several times to enjoy the pictures. Unfortunately, I have no young children to share it with, so can't give you that kind of opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I did buy this book thinking it was an actual chapter book and while I was a little disappointed when I seen that it wasn't, after flipping through it on my nook quickly I can't say that I was disappointed anymore. The art work is simply amazing! And that alone is worth what I paid but the story just completed it all with a very, very cute concept! I would definitely buy more from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son and I thought we were buying a chapter book to read at bedtime after enjoying the movie so much. This picture book is beautiful but not a novel.