The Man in the Moon: The Guardians of Childhood

 
(i)

 

Adventures of young Man in the Moon a perfect bedtime read.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Positive messages

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.

Language
Not applicable

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.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

The Man in the Moon wasn't always a man; he was once a little boy, called MiM, and this book tells his story through the sailing of great ships and the fighting of great battles, including one between Pitch, the King of Nightmares, and Nightlight, the brave guardian of MiM. Readers find out what MiM does with balloons after they float into Earth's sky and the origins of some of the most beloved children's fantasy characters, including Santa Claus, Mother Goose, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about nightmares. They can be very scary. What do you do when you are afraid at night? Do you have a brave nightlight?

  • Children will also want to talk about the parental death featured in the book. How did MiM find a new family? Think about all the families you know -- what makes them different? What makes them the same?

  • There are a lot of storybook characters in this book. Can you name them all? Which ones are your favorites? 

Book details

Author:William Joyce
Illustrator:William Joyce
Genre:Fairy Tale
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:September 6, 2011
Number of pages:56
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4 - 8
Read alone:4 - 8

This review of The Man in the Moon: The Guardians of Childhood was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass