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By: Janet Ruth Heller
Illustrated by: Ben Hodson
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: March 2007
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2010
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.