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How The Moon Regained Her Shape

Last updated Monday, April 5, 2010

Author: Janet Ruth Heller
Illustrator: Ben Hodson
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 0976494345
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2010

Synopsis: "This simply written book is an excellent example of how to help children understand and overcome bullying. Self-esteem is positively addressed in a strong, delightful tale. When the sun bullies the moon until the moon does not feel good about herself and becomes very small, it is time for action. Fortunately, a comet helps her. Through a visit to earth, the moon learns how an artist, some rabbits, and a hundred women depend on her light and want her to return to fullness. At the end of this earthly visit, the moon has regained her pride and sets out to shine again. However, from that point forward, she continues to shrink to smallness when she is insulted and then back to fullness when she regains her strength. This unique way to explain moon phases has long been part of Native American folklore. Fantastic artwork covers the pages with layered paper illustrations dressed in Native American design and colors. End pages contain extra information about moon phases and observations. Teachers and readers can check Sylvan Dell's website for kid-friendly astronomy sites that extend the material in this book. The book is sure to be checked out many times, so make it a part of the elementary classrooms and libraries." -- Nancy Garhan Attebury, Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary:
•  Taunt: to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock
•  Romp: to play or frolic in a lively or boisterous manner.
•  Dwindles: to become smaller and smaller; shrink; waste away

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where do you think this takes place?
•  What does the design remind you of?
•  Who do you think the woman is?
•  What are they talking about (page 3)? Eclipse
•  What are the phases of the moon? (Shown in the corner borders of the page.)
•  What is a comet?
•  Who is Round Arms?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Check out last two pages for ideas
•  What culture is this story from?
•  Was the sun a bully?
•  What do you say to a bully?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw the different phases of the moon
•  Paper People
•  Lunar Calendar Project - see reverse side for instructions and templates.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!