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Many Moons

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  3,637 ratings  ·  254 reviews
A wise tale of a little princess who wanted the moon and got it. “Grown-ups themselves will find the book hilariously funny. . . . The lovely, squiggly illustrations in color are exactly right.”--The New Yorker
Paperback, 48 pages
Published April 18th 1973 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1943)
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The first time I encountered Many Moons by James Thurber, it was read to me. I was in third grade. If the illustrations were shown, I didn't see them. And they weren't necessary for me to enjoy the book -- I could picture it perfectly in my head. The story stayed with me for many years. If I ever knew, I soon forgot the name of the author. I've since forgotten the name of my third-grade teacher. But I've never forgotten how much I loved this book.

Years later, in my early twenties, I began readin
Ivory, apes, and peacocks, rubies, opals, and emeralds, black orchids, pink elephants, and blue poodles, gold bugs, scarabs, and flies in amber, hummingbirds' tongues, angels' feathers, and unicorns' horns, giants, midgets, and mermaids, frankincense, ambergris, and myrrh, troubadours, minstrels, and dancing women.
Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin is a fairy tale about Princess Lenore, who asks for the moon when she is sick. The King summons all his wise men but none of them know how to get the moon. The Court Jester turns out to be the one to solve the problem.

This charming, whimsical story has plenty of sly humor and a few challenging words (surfeit, physician etc.). Thurber writes about wisdom and the differing perceptions of children and adults. The concept of things being "i
Jackie "the Librarian"
I love this story about a princess with a tummyache, who asks for the moon, and the jester who figures out how the king can get it for her. Way too wordy for a library storytime, this is a great lap book for parents to share with their own princesses. I prefer the illustrations by Marc Simont, even though the they aren't the ones that won the Caldecott.
This book won the 1944 Caldecott, but this must've been another year where there wasn't much competition. I liked the book, though the story drones on for a bit. The book tells the story of a princess who falls ill and wants the moon, but all of her father's advisors say that the moon is impossible to get, until he asks the Court Jester, who takes a more logical-to-a-child approach to the situation. She gets her moon and gets well again. The next night, when the moon reappears, the king is frant ...more
Nevada Libert
this was a good story of a little princces wanted the moon and got it, this book allso has lots of wisdom in it.
My mother must have read this to me so many times as a child-- I didn't think I recognized it from the title or cover, but as soon as I opened the book and saw the delicate, softly colored sketches, I couldn't help but breathe a nostalgic sigh. The illustrations in this book are a pure delight. I love the way the artist has the images winding around the text on some pages, unfurling from the scroll depicted on the opposite page. I love the expressive faces and body language of the characters, an ...more
Elle Harris
This is a story about a princess who is sick and claims that all she wants is the moon. Her father, the king, becomes frustrated when nobody is able to get the moon for his sick daughter. After a series of events, every person in the castle denies the King's request to get the moon for his sick daughter. In the end, the jester realizes that the princess thinks the moon is as big as her fingernail and made of gold. The jester thought it was silly that nobody took time to simply ask the princess w ...more
Camila Padilla
Many Moons by James Thurber

“Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the sea” Princess Lenore had fallen ill with a tummy ache from eating a mouthful of raspberry pies, and thinks that only the moon itself can cure her illness. The king worried for there was no one in the palace who could figure out a way to get his beloved daughter what she wanted. But perhaps the little princess was not asking for as much as everyone thought. While every one had an idea of what getting the moon consisted in that made
Ashlyn Phillips
I enjoyed this book for 2 reasons. The first being that a child held all answers. I know that in life life I do remember being a little kid and feeling like my opinion didn't matter because "i was a child i didn't know anything". I realize that we have all probably felt this way at times. What I liked was that the King sent out for the wisest men in all the land to get the moon for his daughter. And not only did the "lowly" court jester (supposedly a lesser on the education and knowledge scale) ...more
Cari Williams
Many Moons is a story of a king and his daughter whom he loves so much that he is willing to get her anything she desires, even the moon. I really enjoyed reading this book because I liked how the author used humor with all of his characters. In the story, the one who you would least expect to solve the kings problem comes up with a very clever way to get the princess what she wants and make the king happy all at the same time. The character that was my favorite was the princess because as her f ...more
Connor Flatley

Many Moon is the story of a sick princess, Lenore, and her wishing the moon would heal her. The king tells the Lord High Chamberlain to get the moon for his daughter and he then tells the Royal Wizard, and so on. The Royal Goldsmith creates a small round golden moon and places it on a string for the princess. The main concern is that the Princess will realize that it is not the real moon once she sees the moon shining in the night sky. The story is the journey of the father trying to fulfill and
David Korsak
This book is about a princess who has a severe illness and she wants her father who is the king to bring her the moon so she can get better. The king’s subjects reply that they can’t deliver the moon because it’s impossible, but the Court Jester steps in and says he can deliver the moon. The Court Jester then creates what the princess thinks is the moon and delivers it to her chambers. The princess feels better instantly and the king is satisfied. The king soon realizes the moon is still in the ...more
The illustrations in “Many Moons” are done in watercolor and pen, which creates a fine line and really makes the illustrations more detailed. There is not much on the pages and the drawings are very simple. “Many Moons” is about a King that always provides for his daughter. His daughter, Princess Lenore, is sick and wants the moon. The people who work for the King in the palace have done many outrageous things for him and the Princess but the moon is just something that cannot be obtained. The K ...more
Savannah Spaulding
This book is about a princess who gets ill and she tells her father to get well again she just has to have the moon. The King then goes and asks different people how he is going to get the moon. The only one who can come up with the correct answer is the Jester. As more problems arise for the princess she ends up being the only one who can solve her own problems. It was an interesting take on children being able to do things on their own and would be good for young readers learning to be indepen ...more
Marissa Lubinski
I thought this book was very well written. In this story princess Lenore got sick because she ate too many raspberry tarts. Her dad, the king did not how to heal her, he so he asked his staff. He asked Lord High Chamberlain, he asked the royal wizard, and the royal mathematician. They all have done great favors to the king before such as bringing him blue poodles and discovering the length of the sea serpent but none of them had any ideas how to get the moon. Then the court jester thought of ask ...more
Emily Johnson
When Princess Lenore becomes ill due to a raspberry tart she is stuck sick in bed. Her father, the king, tells her that will get her whatever she wants so that she will become better. Princess Lenore knows exactly what she wants, she wants her father to get her the moon! She believes that if she gets the moon then she will be healthy again. The king asks favors from almost everyone he knows trying to get the moon for Lenore. When he finally gets her the moon (or what he tells her is the moon), h ...more
In James Thurber's "Many Moons," a princess becomes ill and her father, the king, would do anything to make it better. As per the princess’s request, he orders every wise man he knows to bring him the moon. The princess said if she had the moon, she would be better. However, no one that the King calls upon thinks it is possible to acquire the moon and the king becomes distressed. But there is one person the king didn’t think to ask, that knows how to bring the moon to the princess.
The major them
Jamie Singer
This book's illustrations are not as good as I expected but the story line itself I loved. This is about a princess who has a deathly illness and she wants her father who is the king to bring her to the moon so she can get better. The king’s subjects reply that they can’t deliver the moon because it’s impossible, but the Court Jester steps in and says he can deliver the moon. The Court Jester then creates what the princess thinks is the moon and delivers it to her chambers. The princess feels be ...more
Mekenna Price
Personally, I was surprised by this book. It is an older one, which lead me to believe that it would not be as good as books that were made more recently. However, Many Moons by James Thurber proved me wrong. I can honestly say that it is now on my list of top children's stories. For me, it had the whole package: it had the intriguing artwork by Louis Slobodkin, that made it soft but intense at the same time. An example of that was when there were different sizes of the moon, described by the ki ...more
Matthew West
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Javone Mcclelland
The illustrations in this book were very colorful and detailed and told the story throughout the pictures like “picture books” are supposed to do. This story is about a princess who wants the moon, her father will go to anything to get it for her but getting the moon is a little complicated. The jester finally realizes that the princess believes the moon is the size of her thumb because when she holds her thumb up to the sky, she covers the moon; and made of gold, so he buys her a moon necklace. ...more
Many Moons by James Thurber is a story of a young princess who becomes ill and asks her father for the moon. The king consults those around him and no one is able to provide a way to make the request come true. The court jester finally consults the princess herself about how to complete the request. The text in this story is long for a children's picturebook, but contains a good message that children should be consulted and their opinions valued. The text is laced with humor and wit. The illustr ...more
I was actually surprised by how much I liked this book! It started off kind of slow but as it progressed it picked up in speed and I loved the plot. It reminded me of my childhood and how I used to think the moon was made of cheese and just explaining the many misconception of the moon over the centuries. The drawings were colourful but simple, and I think it added a nice touch. I think the bright colours and the simplicity in the illustrations reflected nicely a period piece about a king and hi ...more
Davonna Juroe
This was a lovely, whimsical read told in a fairytale-esque narrative. Thurber's ("The White Deer") story revolves around a sick princess who asks her father to bring her the moon to heal her. Such a cute premise. Its universal theme revolves around perspective and how different people view the world. For those who say picture books are just for kids, to them I say, “Bah.” Picture books tell a succinct story and are treasure troves of incredible artwork. Louis Slobodkin's ("The Hundred Dresses") ...more
Brigid Keely
James Thurber is well known for his writing and cartoons for adults, but he also wrote for kids. "Many Moons" is a gentle children's book, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin. Slobodkin manages to capture some of the quirk and charm of Thurber's text, but I really wonder what it would have looked like if Thurber had illustrated the book. His illustrations tend to be high energy and emotionally rich. Unfortunately, I think by the time he wrote this book Thurber's vision was too poor for him to draw.

Jessica Jackson
Many Moons, written by James Thurber and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, is a magical story about a sick princess who can only recover if she is given the moon. This story teaches about the power of imagination. In this Caldecott Medal winning book, the illustrations are dreamlike and include soft pastel colors. The colors are muted and give a simple look to the pictures. There is not much detail in the character’s bodies or facial structures, but character emotions are very apparent. Frowns are ...more
:Donna Marie
MANY MOONS was reviewed recently by Karen Kirchel (a Goodreader) and I'm so glad I read her review! I read this WONderful book just last night, and was delighted from cover to cover. I plan to own this book :) I also have a suspicious feeling James Thurber will become a favorite author!

The author wrote a VERY entertaining, "modern" fairy tale, filled with wit, humor, colorful characters and a lovely moral pertaining to "it's all how you see it." This is the kind of content that makes the longe
CIP: "Though many try, only the court jester is able to fulfill Princess Lenore's wish for the moon."

Maggie: When the Princess overindulges on raspberry tarts and falls ill, the King summons all his wise men to find the cure for her ills, only to discover that it is the kingdom's resident fool who can provide the solution. This absolutely charming tale has delighted children of all ages for over fifty years yet the message of 'the eye of the beholder' is timeless. A great pick for one-on-one rea
I first encountered Many Moons when it was read to me during a story time at school when I was about eight years old. Of course, at that age, I didn't bother thinking about who wrote the story, just whether I liked the story or not. And I did like the story. So much so, that it stayed with me for years. But, since I didn't learn at that first reading who wrote it, I couldn't rediscover it.

Then, when I was about eighteen, I discovered James Thurber's writings -- It was a natural progression from
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Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles L. Thurber and Mary Agnes (Mame) Fisher Thurber. Both of his parents greatly influenced his work. His father, a sporadically employed clerk and minor politician who dreamed of being a lawyer or an actor, is said to have been the inspiration for the small, timid protagonist typical of many of his stories. Thurber described his mother as a "born comedien ...more
More about James Thurber...
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty The 13 Clocks The Thurber Carnival My Life and Hard Times The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces

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“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?” 63 likes
“Have you brought the moon to me?" she asked. "Not yet," said the Court Jester, "but I will get it for you right away. How big do you think it is?" "It is just a little smaller than my thumbnail," she said, "for when I hold my thumbnail up at the moon, it just covers it." "And how far away is it? asked the Court Jester. "It is not as high as the big tree outside my window," said the Princess, "for sometimes it gets caught in the top branches." It will be very easy to get the moon for you," said the Court Jester. "I will climb the tree tonight when it gets caught in the top branches and bring it to you." The he thought of something else. "What is the moon make of, Princess?" he asked. "Oh," she said, "it's made of gold, of course, silly.” 7 likes
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