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Book: How the Moon Regained Her Shape
Author: Janet Ruth Heller
Illustrator: Ben Hodson
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0-9764943-4-8 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1-934359-02-0 (paperback)
Related website: www.SylvanDellPublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 6-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Heller, Janet Ruth. How the Moon Regained Her Shape (published in 2006 by Sylvan Dell Publishing, 976 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Suite 3, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464). Did you know that through the years, people have often used folklore to understand natural events? Modern children’s books can be influenced by these folktales too. One day the sun bullies the moon. The moon feels very bad and shrinks until she is a sliver of her former self and becomes nearly invisible. However, with the help of a comet and a big woman named Round Arms, and with the encouragement of several friends, such as Painted Deer, a mother rabbit, and one hundred women dancing, the moon returns to the sky. Now, whenever she dwindles, she remembers her friends and regains her fullness.
In the tradition of Native American folklore, author Janet Ruth Heller, a professor at Western Michigan University, provides a fascinating story that not only can form the basis for studying the phases of the moon but also teaches an important lesson on how to handle bullying. It is nicely illustrated with Native American type drawings by Ben Hodson. Sylvan Dell always has a “For Creative Minds” section in the back of each book, and How the Moon Regained Her Shape contains three pages of “Moon Observations” including Native American names for each of the year’s full moons, plus one page on “How to Deal with Bullies.” In addition, there are even more online resources and activities related to the book at Sylvan Dell’s website. The book is both fun and educational.