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Many Moons

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  3,210 ratings  ·  225 reviews
A wise tale of a little princess who wanted the moon and got it.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 1st 1981 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1943)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
25th out of 77 books — 288 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinCharlotte's Web by E.B. White
Best children's books EVER
226th out of 1,038 books — 1,269 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cheryl
I agree with Rosemary Thurber, in her introduction, that it makes one nervous to think about modernizing this classic. But after dithering for awhile, she remembered the lesson of the story - consult with the vested parties, the children. Bringing in the illustrator of Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks was genius. I actually like this version better than the original - something about Simont's clear bright watercolors works for me, and for the story.
Miriam
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.
Karen
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
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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.
Rachel
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
David
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
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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.
Allison
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
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
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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
Charlotte
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
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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
Jordan
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
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.

Th
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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 longer
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Maggie
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
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Karen
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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Alyssa Pierce
The story that James Thurber has created is witty and full of twists that are fun for the reader to follow. The way that the story repeats itself helps reinforce the ideas about the different characters mentioned in the story. It also really highlights the idea that the best is not always the one who is considered the smartest; do not underestimate people. I think that this is an important lesson for readers to take away from this story. The format and illustrations also contributed greatly to t ...more
Josephine
If you know of James Thurber, it's probably because of his hilarious stories and cartoons in the New Yorker, or maybe from his multiple collaborations with colleague E. B. White. But did you know that he wrote an absolutetly sweet, endearing children's book?

Many Moons, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin is a charming, whimsical fairy tale with Thurber's signature goofiness and humor. My sister used to read it to me whenever I had the flu or a cold, and it always brought a smile that made me feel bet
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Kelsey Wagner
Many Moons is about a sick princess who wants the moon. Of course this cannot be done, but her father, the king, gets angry when several people fail to accomplish the task. The jester realizes that the princess thinks the moon is actually smaller than it is, so he has the goldsmith make a gold necklace that resembles the moon. She is satisfied with this, and believes that when something is taken, it gets replaced. This is the reason why the moon is still in the sky after the necklace is made; it ...more
Josiah
I've always liked the whimsical drawing style of Louis Slobodkin, and it seems to fit nicely with this story of royalty in a far-off land.

When the king's daughter, Lenore, falls ill, the king decides that he will grant her anything she wishes in order to aid her convalescence. When Lenore says that she wants the moon to keep for her own, the king consults his most trusted personal advisors to see what can be done about the situation, for he is unwilling to deny his daughter's request and he kn
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Petrie Serrano
We read the Slobodkin/Caldecott version. The style is simple and effective but a little outdated to me. This may be one of the only times while reading the Caldecott winners so far in which I felt the text was better than the pictures. They're not bad and obviously took much care and work, it's just not a style that grabs me.

That being said, the story seems to mimic a dry, old fairy tale at first but it's saturated with wry and intelligent jokes only adults will understand, so within a few pages
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Bailey Carlson
I really liked reading this book. The author was so creative when thinking of ideas, failing ideas, and clever ways to get the moon to the sick princess. He found a way to use creativity at its finest and show that things are simply what you make them out to be. For example, the princess believed the moon was the size of her thumbnail and made of gold, so that is what the king had made for her. This book is engaging in that it tries to make you think of a way to either get the moon to Princess L ...more
Sam
Favorite illustration: Near the end when the court jester tucks the princess into bed.
Princess Lenore is ill and the only thing that will make her better is getting the moon. The king calls all of his wise men around but only the court jester knows how best to get the moon to make the princess feel better. I liked the story, although it was a bit too wordy for my daughter. The pictures, however, were just not my cup of tea. I'm not sure why this won the 1944 Caldecott, I guess it shows that the
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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?” 59 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.” 6 likes
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