PPBF: Many Moons

Author: James Thurber
Illustrator: Marc Simont
Publisher: Harcourt 1990, Text ©1943
Themes: princess, moon, cleverness, imagination
Age Level:  Pre-school to Grade 3
Opening: Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the sea, there lived a little princess named Lenore. She was ten years old going on eleven. One day Lenore fell ill of a surfeit of raspberry tarts and took to her bed.
Summary: Princess Lenore asks her doting father for the moon: “If I can have the moon, I will be well again.” After his wise consultants cannot help him, the King finally calls on his lowly but clever Jester to help solve the problem.
Why I like this Book: So clever and delightful, I cannot believe, after reading at least 3,500 picture books this year alone,  it has taken me so long to find this gem! This really celebrates the intelligence and creativity of children! The original edition of Many Moons, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin and beloved by so many, remains in print alongside this newly illustrated version. Click here for a peek at Slobodkin’s illustrations.
Resources/Activities: Read and compare another great PB about pleasing a princess, like Clever Jack Takes the Cake, by Candace Fleming, illustrated by G.Brian Karas; ask students to imagine what they might have asked for (like the princess) that would seem impossible to fulfill, and imagine ways to solve the task!
For more PPBF selections: go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – any day!

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29 thoughts on “PPBF: Many Moons

  1. LOVE this book, Julie! How can you not love a book with “surfeit of raspberry tarts” in its description? 🙂 In answer to your question above, I think Joanna or someone might have done this before, but it may well not be on the list which someone is very behind on updating and I will have to speak sternly to her about that and possibly dock her pay 🙂 And anyway, I don’t think it hurts to have good books up more than once with different ideas for resources 🙂

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  2. Julie, we must have very similar taste. This is one of my hands-down favorite books and when I saw it on the PPBF list I jumped right to your review. I LOVE this book and it should be required reading for all writers. It is so clever, and the way he solves the problem is so simple and obvious, it left me breathless the first time I read it. There’s a lot of great books out there, but this is one of those that makes me want to shout EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!!

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  3. We love James Thurber at our house. I particularly like his dog stories. But I’ve not seen this one. I like when kids books throw in those big words. Surfeit is a big word to think about. I’m going to have to look for this one.

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  4. “Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the sea, there lived a little princess named Lenore. She was ten years old going on eleven. One day Lenore fell ill of a surfeit of raspberry tarts and took to her bed.” Oh my goodness! I love that! Wonderful opening lines. The cover is beautiful. I have to find this. Thanks for the review.

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  5. Pingback: PPBF: The Stray Dog | julie rowan-zoch

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