Many Moons
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Many Moons

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,994 ratings  ·  211 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 — 282 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Best children's books EVER
220th out of 1,000 books — 1,237 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cheryl in CC NV
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.
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.
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...more
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
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...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
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
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
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
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.

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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Bookstork Buzz
I couldn’t love this lovely book, Many Moons, more. Probably one of my all-time favorites.

I read Many Moons many, many moons ago in my teens, and I loved it then as I love it now for its wit and amusing perspectives. It’s funny. Perhaps a bit wordy for a children’s book, but a book to remember.

For those who don’t know Many Moons: Princess Lenore has fallen ill “of a surfeit of strawberry tarts” and assumes she can only be well if she can have the moon. The wisest men in the kingdom – from the H...more
Lauren Derosa
I loved this book! It is pretty long for a children's book but I can definitely see why it was written for children. First of all, the illustrations are beautiful! I think that they look like water colors which I love. Although the painting seem to just be outlines with not much detail, they are still able to capture the emotion of the character in a very interesting way. Another aspect that I thought would appeal to children is how they listed out what the King has asked for. The types of thing...more
Zackery Busse
Many Moons is a great picture book for older children, preferabbly around the ages of seven to ten. The book contains very imaginative text with some confusing words for younger children and it is longer than moany other picture books. The book uses words such as surfeit and physician that only an older child could really comprehend. the illustrations are rather bare and colorless, this is most likely because the author concentrates more heavily on the creative words that are on the page rather...more
Aug 20, 2008 Becky rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids ages 5-8
Shelves: children-and-ya
I picked up this book at our local library and thought, "Hm. I didn't know Thurber wrote for children." But from the first page of this reissue illustrated by Marc Simont, the story of an ill princess who can only be saved if her father gives her the moon seemed familiar.

The king consults his various wise men, who though they cannot offer a way to get the moon, are only too happy to recount all the fantastic deeds they have done for the king up to that point.

By the time I got to the part where t...more
Many Moons was written by James Thurber. This is a modern fantasy story about a princess. Princess Lenore gets sick and asks for the moon. The reader is taken on a journey as the king has his three wisest men and the jester try and help. I think that this is a great book to be read aloud for a couple of reasons. Some of the words that Thurber included, such as surfeit, may be confusing for some younger readers. However, by having it be read aloud, the reader can explain these words to children....more
1944 Caldecott Medal Winner

Illustrations outlined in ink and filled in with water color. Primary colors dominate, particularly red and blue with an occasional large object in yellow.

I wasn't really a fan of the art--it seemed scribbly and abstract. Definitely different from the previous Caldecott winners, though. A version with more modern illustrations by Marc Simont was published in 1998.

I also didn't get into the story much. The Princess Lenore is ill and says that only the moon will make her...more
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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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