For my summer picture book reading with Raisin (age 3 years, 8 months), I’m aiming to include some “units” of nonfiction subjects that he may be interested in. In the past few weeks, we’ve done a “unit” on the moon. These are the books that stood out for us. Please note that I know this isn’t a comprehensive list of books about the moon. Yet, these are the ones we returned to again and again and kept checked out long enough to have to renew.
Moon by Steve Tomecek, illustrated by Liisa Chauncy Guida (National Geographic, 2005) introduces young readers to basic facts about the moon with cartoon illustrations featuring a fun and friendly cat. It’s an easy to read picture book to read aloud, and not too dense. Raisin and I read the entire book start to finish. The last pages give a sample science project: creating your own craters in a “moon” of flour.
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 1997). I’ve mentioned before that I love Gail Gibbons’ nonfiction picture books: she does a great job at capturing a subject with lots of detail, but presenting it in a way that kids can understand. The Moon Book is no exception. While it is illustrated, it is not cartoony. Gibbons provides a readable picture book, with the bonus of regular sidebars and notes on the pictures. While it is above Raisin’s interest level (it is packed with dense information), it still interested him. Sometimes we’d just read just a few pages, or we’d skip around. Most times, he’d linger on the pictures of the moon orbiting the earth and talk to me about how the moon goes around and around the earth.
The Moon by Seymour Simon (Simon and Schuster, 2003). The best part of Mr Simon’s book is the gorgeous NASA photographs on every page. It brings his basic facts to life. I personally loved pouring over the photos. Although the paragraphs seemed a bit lengthy for a three-year-old, Raisin and I read through the book a few times, at least most of it each time. A spectacular addition to our “moon books” shelf.
Footprints on the Moon by Mark Haddon, illustrated by Christian Birmingham (Candlewick Press, 1996). I have not read many memoir picture books, but this one worked wonderfully. best-selling author Mark Haddon writes of his own childhood studying the solar system and dreaming about the moon, then shows him tuned in the television, watching the first humans walk on the moon. He dreams he joins them. It’s a lovely story, with soft illustrations that perfectly fit the dream-like quality to childhood. Raisin loved the little boy of the story.
Moon Plane by Peter McCarty (Henry Holt, 2006). In a fantastic dream, a young boy travels to the moon in the plane that flies overhead. Once there, he walks and jumps on the moon, which feels like flying. There is little science in this book, since of course airplanes don’t fly out of the solar system, but I once again loved the soft illustrations and dream of a child. There are few words on each page, so this was a welcome break from some of the other more word-intense moon books. It was fun to find a fictional picture book that tied in so well with the other books we read.
As I said, this list is not comprehensive. Which picture books about the moon have you read and loved?