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The Moon Over Star

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  358 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
In July 1969, the world witnessed an awe-inspiring historical achievement when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. For the young protagonist of this lyrical and hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer.

Caldecott Honor– winning

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 16th 2008 by Dial Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 656)
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Nov 17, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!! I've been mulling around a review for a week or so now and just don't think I can fully capture how much I enjoyed and appreciated this story! It focuses on a family's experiences surrounding the launch of Apollo 11 and the subsequent moon landing. It's wonderful in that the little girl's enthusiasm and imagination are so vivid, yet this contrasts with her grandfather's perspective that the space mission is a waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. Gradually, th ...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 25, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like historical fiction & science/exploration; grandparents & grandchildren
Gorgeous paintings!

A story that ended up bringing tears to my eyes, even though I thought it was not much better than mediocre for quite some time. The story didn’t flow easily, I didn’t think, but it ended up being emotionally moving. The granddaughter-grandfather relationship is wonderful.

Not only wasn’t I in awe but I wasn’t even properly impressed with the first moon landing. Since then I’ve read books that have helped me to see the importance of that moment. This is one of them, and the bes
Crystal Marcos
Dec 07, 2010 Crystal Marcos rated it really liked it
This is a story of a girl named Mae who follows the first moon landing in 1969. This book is wonderfully illustrated with a heartwarming connection between a girl and her seemingly set in his ways grandfather. Mae is intrigued by astronauts’ moon landing and her grandfather thinks the money spent to fund the landing could be well used on earth. In the story Mae sits in front of the TV watching the landing with 600 million other people around the world. That moment must have been amazing!

My favor
Nov 07, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations in watercolors grab a reader when they first open the book. In the course of this 32 page book he has illustrations of a rural farm, where kids are pretending to be astronauts, to the span view between the earth and the moon, to the launch of a rocket and the surface of the moon. The realism that he creates in watercolor is remarkable. He created beautiful landscapes and also is able to represent the loving relationship between a young girl and her grandfathe
Jun 20, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
Further back than my memories go, there have ALWAYS been footprints on the moon. They were there more than a decade before I was born, so I always sorta took this for granted. There have ALWAYS, to my mind, been footprints on the moon (even though I know there haven't), and there have ALWAYS been space shuttles (even though I know there weren't) and there have ALWAYS been astronauts and so on.

For my young nieces, we have ALWAYS known about extra-solar planets (some of which are earth-like!), and
Feb 09, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Journey back to 1969 and the lunar landing seen through the eyes of Mae, a young girl who has lots of dreams of her own. Aston's poetry pairs flawlessly with Pinkney's illustrations as we see a group of children celebrate the landing in their own way. They build a rocket of their very own with scraps from the yard and gather together with rapt faces watching the landing as it happens. All are caught in the moment of history except Gramps who isn't sure it has anything much to do with him. But ev ...more
Large watercolor spreads depict Mae and her family going through their day as they consider the Apollo 11 mission and what it will mean for their country. Though the blobs of color don't necessarily stay within the lines, the energy and realism of the characters is apparent. The historical facts of the Apollo 11 mission are touched on, but the story ultimately focuses more on Mae's reaction to the events rather than the events themselves, and this is a clever way to draw young readers into the s ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
A beautiful, verse written account of a family's fascination with the launching and landing of Apollo 11. Mae's interactions with her grandfather are sincere and heartfelt. Mae's interactions with her cousins is a great example of childhood exploration and fun. I was rather fond of Mae's thinking, her maturity, and her ability to dream. Pinkney's illustrations are pieces of art, remarkable, never has the moon looked so beautiful.
538pm_Stephanie Scherer
Feb 17, 2014 538pm_Stephanie Scherer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1960s
The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston is a wonderful book with enchanting illustrations that capture the moment of inspiration for an 8 year-old to dream big. Set in a little town called Star, Mae, an 8 year old, recounts July 20, 1969-- the day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. While we have all read and heard the famous line, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” we may not have looked at it from a child’s perspective; this book does just that. Mae thinks about the Astronau ...more
Jun 12, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
This book won the Coretta Scott King award in 2009 for best illustrations. It has a special place in my heart because it's about the 1969 moon landing by American astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. I was fascinated by that mission, and obsessively collected all the information about it that I could find.

The narrator is a young African-American girl named Mae. Her whole family is interested in the mission, and like most other American families, they gathered together in front of the tv to
Jan 09, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
In this book an African American girl tells the story of her family’s experiences when the first men landed on the moon. She narrates the fact that her Gramps felt like this was a terrible waste of money. But all the same, she dreams of one day going to the moon herself. Her family makes a point of watching the landing on TV. and enjoying the nighttime looking up at the moon in wonder and awe. The girl notices the tired eyes of her gramps who worked hard his entire life. He notes that he remembe ...more
Dec 08, 2010 David rated it really liked it
In July 1969, the world witnessed an awe-inspiring historical achievement when Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. For the young protagonist of this lyrical & hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer. Painter Jerry Pinkney & poetic Dianna Hutts Aston create a moving tribute to the historic Apollo 11 Mission.
(Goodreads summary)

The Moon Over
Aug 02, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Through the eyes of a young girl named Mae, this picture book recounts the events of July 20, 1969 when astronauts landed and walked on the moon for the first time. Readers follow Mae’s day from church, where she prays for the astronauts, and dreams for herself, to when she and her cousins build their own rocket for their journey into space, to when Mae and her family finally watch history being made. Mae’s relationship with her grandfather and his differing perspective on the events are also ex ...more
Janet Xue
In The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Jerry Pinkey is a 32 pages picture book in a first person point of view focusing on Mae’s emotions of witnessing Neil Armstrong as being the first man landing and walking on the moon. When the news said Armstrong and his crew were planning to make a historical movement by being the first human being on the moon, Mae and her cousins were influenced and inspired which caused them to use their imagination to play and act as if they are ...more
This one is for older kids, maybe 6-10. It chokes me up when I read it because anything about following your dreams and the moon landing usually gets to me, and this has both. An African American family experiences the moon landing, from the perspective of the oldest granddaughter, as they discuss it, pretend to be astronauts, see the news on television, and then watch the moon during an evening picnic. The artwork is watercolor, with lots of implied movement, showing scenes of the family activi ...more
Nov 12, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating personal account of the famous moon landing in 1959. The story is told from a young girl's perspective and she describes her family's excitement over the event. She highlight's her Grandfather's doubts over the usefulness of the endeavor, stating that he felt that the millions of dollars spent on going to the moon could've been better put to use by people who needed it here on Earth. But, in the end, he acknowledges that this amazing accomplishment was important for inspiri ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it
The Moon Over Star

1st -4th grade

The illustrator for The Moon Over Star created a gallery of paintings in this book that are detailed and make you feel like you could return back in time and experience the first moon walk all over again. The illustrations are painted with watercolors that blend together. The people are lifelike yet picturesque. The text is very symmetrical and upright. The Author recites the time period from both the Granddaughters point of view and from her perspective of what h
Sarah Prekopa
Mar 22, 2012 Sarah Prekopa rated it really liked it
With a beautiful, hopeful story and breathtaking illustrations, I highly recommend this book for older readers. A tale of a young girl's experience of one of the most historic moments in history, Mae takes us through July 20, 1969. Around the world people waited and watched as Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Knowing how special this moment was caused our protagonist to realize the capability of dreams. "Once upon a summer's night in 1969...The moon told me to dream." Det ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
May 29, 2012 Melissa Mcavoy rated it really liked it
Age Range:6-10
A fictionalized account of a young African American girl's experience around the first lunar landing. While Mae views the landing with excitement that prompts both dreams and play, she recognizes that her grandfather has a different perspective. A hardworking farmer, he uses the moon to guide his planting and harvesting and views the moonwalk as a waste of money. Over the course of the story Mae appreciates her grandfather's perspective and he in turn is inspired by her excitement,
Jun 28, 2012 Zach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Audience: K-4, or anyone interested in space travel and African American culture.

Appeal: This book tells the story of a young black girl from rural America in the 60s who is fascinated by outer space. She eagerly follows the true-life story of the US's first trip to the moon while her grandpa, a farmer, sees little use for spending so much money on space travel when we could use that money on Earth. Eventually, he comes around and tells her she could be the first black woman astronaut. It's a t
Sep 28, 2012 Kifflie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When I first picked this up, I thought it might be about Mae Jemison. But after reading Jemison's entry on Wikipedia, it probably isn't (though it may have been inspired by her). This Mae is five years younger and clearly lives in the country, while Mae Jemison would have been living in Chicago.

Still, it is a lovely book. This girl and I would have been about the same age during the moon landing. Aston and Pinkney work well together to capture the excitement and wonder of those times. Having the
Gwen the Librarian
This is the touching story of a rural family during the days of the first moon landing. The kids are so excited that a rocket has been launched to the moon. They play Mission Control and astronaut and keep watching the television coverage. Finally, it is the night of the moon landing and everyone sees the great moment. Grandpa thinks that the space program is a waste of money but is glad that it helps the kids have dreams. With terrific touchs of realism, this story evokes the spirit of that his ...more
Summary: In July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. That historic event inspires a young girl to dream big, in this moving tribute to the Apollo 11 mission available just in time to commemorate its upcoming 40th anniversary (Thanks!)

Audience: Ages 6-8

Genre: Multicultural Picture Book

Use: Read Aloud, Shared Reading

Life Lessons: Teaches children about historic events while also teaching them the importance of acceptance of other cultur
Jenny Young
Jul 16, 2011 Jenny Young rated it it was amazing
Grades K-4

historical fiction; science (space) fiction

African American; history

The illustrations are created with graphite, ink, and watercolors.

Personal response:
The illustrations and the story work together beautifully. The story is full of hope and inspiration. The ending tied everything in the story together and made it a wonderful book.

Curricular or programming connections:
This book would be good for a science/history unit about the space explorations. It co
Scarlett Sims
A heartwarming story about a girl witnessing the moon landing. What I found interesting when I finished the book was that the author is actually white and Pinkney's illustrations are what made it a story about a black family, hence the CSK illustrator award (honor?). It just goes to show that some stories transcend ethnic background. Anyway, it's not just about the moon landing, it also shows how the girl relates to her grandfather. The art is really beautiful and while it isn't an informational ...more
NS- Sarah
Oct 01, 2009 NS- Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
"The Moon Over Star" by Dianna Hutts Aston received the 2009 Coretta Scott King illustrator honor. It is narrated by a young African American girl who is watching and listening to the news coverage on the US moon landing in 1969. She is mesmorized by this historical event and uses household items to construct a spaceship with her cousins. Her emotions are contrasted by her grandfather's lack of interest. In the end she describes how watching the moon landing unfold causes her to dream big for he ...more
Jun 04, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book (although does mention God and Heaven and I usually try and steer clear of all religious references with my read-alouds). It is a fantastic account of the first moon landing and talks about following dreams. I used it in a lesson where paired it up with the book One Giant Leap and also showed the students the video of the original moon launch:

Would be good to read during my Google Moon/Sky/Mars unit in tech class.
On a warm summer's day in 1969, crickets chirp in the long buffalo grass and it feels like the whole world is bubbling with anticipation. Mae and her family await the first moon landing which brings with it the opportunity for hopes and dreams to be explored and realized. Diane Hutts Aston recounts mans first steps on the moon through the eyes of a young girl. The story is told with heart and feeling. This quiet historical story is coupled with lively and moving, yet tender, illustrations by Jer ...more
Markie Wise
Apr 23, 2015 Markie Wise rated it really liked it
It is so important to remember big and important days in history. The day man landed on the moon is one of those days not to be forgotten and one that should be told to everyone in the world as a child. The Moon Over Star does a good job of reminiscing on this day and how big of a deal it really was. This book is about a girl and her family that waits all day to see the first spaceship to land on the moon and the first astronauts step foot on it. The program is to take place on the television. E ...more
Taryn Vogel
Feb 26, 2015 Taryn Vogel rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed reading this book. Since it's about a big mark in American history, I was really intrigued to see that encounter from a child's point of view. It had a spark of childish excitement to the story that made it not sound like a history book.

Purpose: I think this story would be great for students 3rd-5th grade. Seeing that it is more of a history story, I think older students would be able to grasp the concept better. This book could definitely be paired with a his
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Dianna Hutts Aston was born in Houston, Texas, attended the University of Houston, and worked as a journalist for several years. LOONY LITTLE is her first picture book with Candlewick Press. She says, "It was one of the hottest summer days on record. My mind, of its own accord, kept wandering northward, to a wilderness of snow and ice, the Arctic. While listening to the news one evening, I heard P ...more
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