A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This book offers opportunities to talk about cooperation and community. Inspired by the natural landscapes of New Zealand, it has illustrations of many mountain desert features.
Families and communities work together to solve problems. Each member must take responsibility for the welfare of the others.
Positive Role Models
Anya has just taken a vow to be a Keeper and must spend cold nights alone in the desert, tending to the moon moths. She has many friends who help her make the transition to nocturnal life, especially her mentor, Yeolen.
The characters are diverse in a number of ways. Most are humans with animal features—fox and rabbit ears, for example. Characters have many different skin colors, one uses a cane, another has albinism, and there's a same-gender couple. Elders and youngsters seem well-integrated and respected within the community. Author K. O'Neill uses they/them pronouns, believes that media "should reflect the diversity of the world around us," and is known for including LGBTQ+ characters and positive messages in their work.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Moth Keeper is a gentle fantasy set in the desert, where young fox-girl Anya vows to stay awake all night to guide and protect the glowing moon moths that pollinate a tree that's sacred to her community. But her curiosity about the sun-dwellers nearby may put everything and everyone she loves in grave danger. Written and illustrated by K. O'Neill, the graphic novel emphasizes themes of community and responsibility and has characters who model courage and integrity.
Is It Any Good?
Some comics gain power through quietness, and this tale of nocturnal connectedness gently expresses its point. K. O'Neill provides both story and graphics in The Moth Keeper as sensitive Anya learns the consequences of making a commitment. The art is absorbing—alternating between spreads of wordless pages of the long, dark nights Anya must endure and sometimes action-packed pages of day-lit yellows, greens, and sky blues and the softer dusky purples and oranges of transition times. Put this in the hands of graphic novel fans who need a cozy, gentle, character-driven, community-minded, myth-infused tale.
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.