I just got the latest Red Knit Cap Girl picture book, a sequel with an environmental message, and this inspired me to create this list. I had hoped the first one would win a Caldecott but alas no. It did win a New Times Best Illustrated Book award but here’s hoping that Red Knit Cap Girl To the Rescue gets a Caldecott nod this year!
What are your favorite chapter books, picture books, folk tales, graphic novels, or non-fiction books about the moon? Please share!
Moon Themed Books for Kids
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Every child should read this classic bedtime story. And be sure to find the mouse on every page. The book on Bunny’s nightstand is Goodnight Moon, there is a copy of Runaway Bunny on the bookshelf, and the three bears’ picture has the cow jumping over the moon on their wall also. Be sure to check out the time on the clock on every page to see how long it takes to get the little bunny to sleep. He’s a master staller!
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
2005 Caldecott winner, Kitten’s First Full Moon charmingly captures that puzzling question of why can’t you ever seem to catch up to the moon when it’s right there in front of you?! Kitten thinks the full moon looks just like a bowl of milk and she tries to find it. [picture book, ages 1 and up]
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Though Owl Moon doesn’t rhyme, the text is lyrical and this picture book celebrates the bond between a father and his daughter as they search one night for owls. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Thank You, Moon: Celebrating Nature’s Flashlight by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Jessica Lanan
This is a lovely mix of lyrical language combined with a paragraph of interesting information on each page spread. Narrative nonfiction is my favorite way to learn about a subject, and here we learn about the moon’s gravitational pull and the diversity of creatures all over the globe who depend on the moon’s light. The end matter includes the phases of the moon, as well as more information about each animal, insect, and plant featured. I really like the color scheme of the illustrations as well as soft watercolor/gouache paintings give the book a gentle and cozy feel. It’s nighttime. But with the moon as nature’s flashlight, it’s definitely not scary! [nonfiction picture book, ages 3 and up]
I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis, illustrated by Alison Jay
Told in verse, go along with a young boy as he takes a magical walk with his friend, the moon. It’s such a charming board book! [board book, ages 1 and up]
Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
Red Knit Cap Girl goes on a gentle adventure with her forest animal friends as she attempts to talk to the moon. This reminds me of a multicultural version of Kitten’s First Full Moon. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
Red Knit Cap Girl To the Rescue by Naoko Stoop
Red Knit Cap Girl is back and when she finds a young polar bear cup, she asks the moon how to get it home. She and White Bunny go on a charming adventure that speaks to our fragile ecosystem. Stoop uses found materials to illustrate using both paint and collage work which supports the eco message in a subtle and beautiful way. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-This-World Moon-Pie Adventure by Tony DiTerlizzi
What is the moon made of and how do you get there to find out? Jimmy Zangwow builds a contraption jalopy that gets him to the moon where he’s hoping he can get a lifetime supply of moon pies. It actually works but there are complications. Luckily, Jimmy is good at sharing! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Bang Bang I Hurt the Moon by Luis Amavisca and Ester G. Madrid
Did Nicholas shoot the moon out of the sky? There is it, in their garden and it needs help to get back into the sky. Working together with the ants and the sparrows, Nicholas, his brother and his mom get the moon back just in time for daybreak. No more playing with guns for Nicholas! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin, illustrated by Leslie Evans
The phases of the moon are told in verse in this dye-cut picture book that relates an anthropomorphic moon and her emotions to the moon’s cycle. The illustrations remind me of block woodcut prints and give this book an old-time classic feel. This is a nice way to introduce STEM through a narrative story. Tabs for each phase of the moon make it easy to use this book as a reference to get kids outdoors at night to observe the moon throughout all its phases. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
When Moon Became the Moon by Rob Hodgson
Review from A Kid’s Book A Day:
“Fans of Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe series will enjoy this book with its colorful illustrations and humorous, easy-to-understand information.” [nonfiction picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Moon Princess by Ralph F. McCarthy
The illustrations remind me of woodblock geisha art in this bi-lingual Japanese folk tale. A woodcutter finds a baby mysteriously in a bamboo stalk. She grows up quickly — too fast to be human — and her unearthly beauty makes her highly sought after by suitors. She shuns them all and it seems she has a different calling from a planet far away. There aren’t many alien folk tales, are there? [Japanese/English bilingual picture book folk tale, ages 4 and up]
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Vanderpool’s debut chapter book is the 2001 Newbery winner. She’s a great storyteller weaving together several seemingly unconnected stories, that wham! come together by the end of the book. (My favorite kind of plot!). Central to the story is a 12-year-old girl, Abilene, whose father sends her to live with a friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up. This sleepy town holds the secret to her family history that slowly reveals itself to her after she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler.
I’m still not sure what the title means with its reference to the moon. Perhaps it is the moon, and only the moon, that connects the characters who don’t realize how inextricably tied together they are. Yet they all gaze upon the same moon. Also, many of the important scenes take place in the moonlight. What do you think? If you read the book, I’d love your thoughts! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
A toad, a missing moon, and a mysterious lady are somehow all connected, and Rendi, a young runaway, realizes that his own story is the key to all that is happening in this very strangest of villages. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Study Units on the Moon
Phases of the Moon Study Guide with Oreo Science Project on my ILoveNewton blog.
10 Picture Books About the Moon from What Do We Do All Day?
5 Moon Activities from What Do We Do All Day?
For those who want non-fiction books about the moon, try this list: 6 Beloved Children’s Books About the Moon, Planets and Beyond from The Atlantic.
Reader Suggestions for More Great Moon-Themed Books for Kids
Barbara Mojica recommends
How The Moon Regained Her Shape by Janet Heller
This book links the moon to Native American Folklore and also is a great resource for educators on the subject of bullying.
Maria Gianfarri has two great suggestions:
Moonshot by Brian Floca
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
is for older readers and is quite dark and intense, but is fast-paced and well-told.
p.s. Related posts:
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Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World
- Junior Library Guild Gold selection
- Selected as one of 100 Outstanding Picture Books of 2023 by dPICTUS and featured at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair
- Starred review from School Library Journal
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.