Willoughby and the Moon

Overview

Every night, the moon outside Willoughby's window gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller . . . until one night it disappears!

But Willoughby isn't afraid of the dark. Not really. He just wants to know where the moon went.

When he finds it in the most surprising place, he sets off on a magical adventure and meets a new friend who seems to be scared of lots of things—moon buggy rides, space pods, big rocks. . . ...

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Overview

Every night, the moon outside Willoughby's window gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller . . . until one night it disappears!

But Willoughby isn't afraid of the dark. Not really. He just wants to know where the moon went.

When he finds it in the most surprising place, he sets off on a magical adventure and meets a new friend who seems to be scared of lots of things—moon buggy rides, space pods, big rocks. . . . But it's Willoughby who has to overcome his own biggest fear in order to help his friend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Willoughby, who’s afraid of the dark, discovers the moon in his closet one night, along with a giant snail that is searching for a lost silver ball. The snail is scared, so Willoughby takes charge, searching for the ball via moon buggy and a space pod (“Heights are no big deal,” he says). Foley trades the gold metallic highlights of Willoughby and the Lion for silver in this outing, which just hints at an otherworldly possibility of danger (which is never to be found). When the snail searches for the ball in a cave, it’s Willoughby’s turn to be afraid, but the reward for his bravery is a freestyle ball game with the snail’s friends. Foley’s stylized dreamscape offers the comforting illumination of a sleek nightlight. Ages 4–7. (May)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
This striking book with black, white, and silver illustrations is a dream sequence about the moon and overcoming a boy's fear of the dark. When the moon wanes and disappears, Willoughby's room is dark. He sees light coming from his closet and discovers the moon with a large snail on it. Willoughby joins him. The snail has lost a ball. Willoughby looks for the ball around rocks, in craters by riding in an old moon buggy, and on the backside of the moon by flying in an empty space pod. The snail is afraid of all those things. The snail unrolls a map of the inside of the moon and enters a cave that is dark. When the snail does not return, Willoughby creeps in to see if the snail is okay. He finds the snail with the ball and other snails. They play games outside. Finally Willoughby sees his closet door in the light of a sliver of the moon and returns to bed. The end papers show the moon waning and waxing. This book playfully captures the shivery mystery of the moon. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this follow-up to Willoughby & the Lion (HarperCollins, 2009), Foley offers another stunning visual look into a child's imagination. This time, Willoughby struggles to go to sleep because the moon has disappeared and the night is too dark. Perplexed and a bit frightened, he sees a light coming from his closet and, inside, discovers the moon with a giant snail on it, looking for his lost silver ball. The search for the ball leads the duo through all the moon's nooks and crannies and eventually back to the security of Willoughby's own bed. In the tradition of Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955) and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (1963, both HarperCollins), this story wholeheartedly buys into a child's imagined world as an escape from an uncertain reality. But truly it is the illustrations that shine. The two-tone pictures layer black and silver ink in vibrant Pop-style line drawings over digital prints to transport readers into Willoughby's dark world, where he searches for light. The level of detail in the snail's map of the moon alone sets the book above most of its bedtime-story contemporaries. Foley's latest is a must-have addition to the canon of stories of little boys struggling to go to sleep.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Close on the heels of his previous adventure (Willoughby and the Lion, 2009), young Willoughby faces his fears in the light of a disappearing moon. When the little boy discovers that the moon is no longer shining into his room at night, he opens his closet to find himself instantly transplanted to the Lunar surface. There, a large snail searches in vain for a lost silver ball. Willoughby merrily traipses where the snail will not, but when it looks like the ball is within the dark center of the moon, it takes an extra bit of courage on the boy's part to face his fears and help his new friend. Rather than follow Willoughby's previous adventure to the letter, Foley gives this tale an entirely different moral and quest, and the book is stronger for it. The illustrator's black-and-metallic-silver inks meld with his digital imagery to give the story an unexpected visual consistency. A far cry from the usual fear-of-the-dark fare-and a strangely comforting and beautiful one. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061547539
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning author-illustrator Greg Foley grew up in Austin, Texas, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He now designs and creative-directs Visionaire, V Magazine, and VMAN and lives in Greenwich Village, New York. He is also the author-illustrator of Willoughby & the Lion and Willoughby & the Moon.

Award-winning author-illustrator Greg Foley grew up in Austin, Texas, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He now designs and creative-directs Visionaire, V Magazine, and VMAN and lives in Greenwich Village, New York. He is also the author-illustrator of Willoughby & the Lion and Willoughby & the Moon.

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