A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The book works to incorporate many of the beloved myths of childhood into one story and give children an opportunity to rediscover them. It also introduces the concept of constellations, planets, and space.
The book shows the triumph of good over bad, the resilience of life after tragedy, and positive relationships among the title character and his many friends and caretakers.
Positive Role Models
There are many positive role models throughout the book, including the title character, MiM, who works tirelessly to ensure that the children of Earth have a good childhood. MiM's parents and his guardian, Nightlight, are brave and courageous.
Violence & Scariness
There is a section of the book that may be scary for young children, in which three people are presumed killed in a battle. There is also a very dark, scary villain.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a scary part in which MiM, the title character, loses three people very close to him. The villain is dark and mysterious, which may frighten young children. While the deaths are not shown, it may lead to some serious questions from little ones. This is the first in the Guardians of Childhood series.
Is It Any Good?
THE MAN IN THE MOON is breathtaking. It has an old-fashioned feel, yet at the same time seems very modern and fresh. Author-illustrator William Joyce weaves a fantastic tale that gives the origins of the bright, friendly face children see in the night sky. There is fun, fantasy, a dramatic battle, and personal loss. Most of all there is hope. Readers will love the new twist on familiar faces from children's literature and lore, and the book may even pique an interest in astronomy.
Joyce's wonderful storytelling is amplified by his dazzling illustrations, which are sophisticated yet whimsical. Each page stands alone as a work of art and clearly conveys the emotion of the story. When the Nightmare King rolls across the page in all of his gloom, it ups the excitement, intrigue, and apprehension.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.