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Faces of the Moon

Faces of the Moon

by Bob Crelin, Leslie Evans (Illustrator)

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Why does the Moon seem to change shape from night to night? In this unique book, innovative die-cuts and playful poetry introduce the names and shapes of the lunar phases to explain the role light and shadow play in this transformation.


Why does the Moon seem to change shape from night to night? In this unique book, innovative die-cuts and playful poetry introduce the names and shapes of the lunar phases to explain the role light and shadow play in this transformation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With gentle interactive elements and rhymed verse, this picture book strikes a reflective tone while providing an effective lesson on the moon and its phases. A boy, a girl and a dog gaze up at the moon and wonder "just why her face is curved, or round,/ or why she sometimes can't be found?" During each of the moon's phases, the children are pictured engaging in various activities while the moon shines above them, peeking through die-cut pages: "Now WAXING GIBBOUS, fat with light,/ she's nearly round-up late at night." The pages also have side tabs that show the moon in its corresponding phases. Evans's bright, chunky linoleum block print and watercolor illustrations present the moon as a constant presence in the children's lives, sometimes as a pale backdrop for everyday events, at other times a source of wonderment. Ages 6-9. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Many people have gazed up at the moon in the sky and watched it go through its phases over twenty-nine days as it waxes and wanes. Read and enjoy the verses about the moon as Earth's shadow reveals or covers the moon's face. The tabs on the pages show the moon's different phases and mark the page with the description for the phase. From the new moon, the reader moves to the crescent and continues waxing to the full moon. Then, moon is gradually covered by Earth's shadow to the last quarter and the final crescent as it completes its orbit around Earth, marking a lunar month. There are die-cuts in the pages to show the sunlit portion of moon to support the rhyming verse. There is a subtle, subplot of the two moon gazers that are in the illustrations. At the back of the book, there is a prose description and diagram of the moon's phases, along with some moon facts. The linoleum block print illustrations are beautiful; the colors look very rich with the black outlines. This book makes a great addition to a unit of study. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–Die-cut holes–starting with a big round one on the front cover–track the Moon’s phases as seen in the northern hemisphere. While Crelin explains what’s happening in verse (“The Moon’s first phase, we call it NEW–”/when Moon’s between the Sun and you./Her sunlit side is turned away,/and we can’t see her, night or day”), and then (superfluously) again in prose at the end, Evans’s digitally enhanced linoleum-block prints depict two children watching the sky or going about their daily or nightly business in a variety of urban and outdoor settings. Though the text could have used better proofreading (“crescent” is misspelled twice), the special design elements, heavy paper stock, and rich coloring add up to a sumptuous presentation. Consider this volume as an enhancement for more conventional treatments such as Suzanne Slade’s The Phases of the Moon (Rosen, 2007) or Franklyn Mansfield Branley’s classic The Moon Seems to Change (HarperCollins, 1960; o.p.).–John Peters, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Crelin opens with a question that young readers often wonder-why does the moon change shape? Unfortunately, his answer is difficult to grasp. Singsong phrases and forced rhymes stilt the science and muddle the conclusions. "Each changing face (or lunar phase) / repeats each nine-and-twenty days." Listeners may appreciate the rhythm, but most insight will come from the visual clues. Strategically placed die-cuts show the moon as it waxes or wanes with each page turn. Tabs are also cut into the border and marked with images of the changing moon, forming a timeline at the book's edge. Evans's block-print illustrations, carved with precision, echo the slices of moon that are shaved away. In contrast to the rhyming text, a simple end note clearly explains this lunar dance of shadow and light. Fun "Moon Memo-Rhymes" are also included to help remember moon facts. There is no doubt that the author knows his crescent from his gibbous phase; but alas, the verse style should have been limited to the memo-rhymes. Recommended for visual learners at best. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Bob Crelin is the author of THERE ONCE WAS A SKY FULL OF STARS. Bob was awarded the Astronomical League's Walter Scott Hudson Award for his tireless work to preserve the night sky for future generations. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

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