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Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky
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Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  403 ratings  ·  63 reviews
An African folktale tells how the sun and water once lived on earth as friends, but because the sun failed to build his house large enough, he and his wife, the moon, were driven into the sky when the water came to visit them.
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published 1968 by Houghton Mifflin
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(showing 1-30 of 722)
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Very simply told, with great illustrations. I particularly liked all of the fish and water animals. The note at the end says, "The story of how the sun and the moon came to live in the sky is told here as it might have been with African tribesmen dressed to represent the elements and the creatures of the sea." Since the illustrations depict people dressed as the sun, the moon, the water, fish, and various water animals, it makes me think it would be a fun story for students to dress up and act o ...more
Kristine Pratt
The masks give a feeling of dance and movement to the classic story of how Sun and Moon were forced up into the sky. I can almost see the story being acted out, and watched with delight as the inevitable conclusion came to be. I wish the colors would have been a bit more vivid as the actual masks would be, but overall it's a good book and one I enjoyed reading.
Aug 20, 2011 Philip rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Philip by: Luann
Shelves: children
At any given moment I probably have 3 or 4 children's books on my "to-read" shelf. Given that the shelf currently has 541 books on it, I'd say the children's books are a little under-represented.

I also generally don't review them unless they've been reviewed by another goodreads friend of mine and they're the reason I got the book - as in Luann's review of this one, or I've been forced to read it a dozen times to one or both of my kids...

This was a decent book. I guess I don't have to review it
Lucy Hall
Title: Why The Sun and Moon Live in the Sky
Author: Elphinstone Dayrell
Illustrator: (Lent, Blair)
Genre: Myth
Theme(s): Friendship, relationships
Opening line/sentence: (Many years ago the sun and water were great friends, and both lived on the earth together.)
Brief Book Summary: (A story explaining why the sun and the moon are up in the sky and why they sun comes out during the day and the moon comes out at night)
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: (From the Publisher
"An African folktale is inte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Wiegman
This book is an African folktale that fits under the "Pourquoi" category because it is an explanation of how the sun and moon ended up in the sky. It begins with the sun and the water being good friends, but water would never come to visit the sun because he said his people take up too much space and he was worried about the sun's house being too small. The sun went home to his wife, the moon and they built a bigger house to accommodate the water. However, when water finally comes to visit his p ...more
Shannon Brasher
This is an entertaining folklore book to read to young students. It tells a story, which is said to have originated in Africa, about how the sun and the moon came to live in the sky. I liked this book because it was shorter than some of the other folklore books I have read which would make this perfect for children of all ages. I loved the illustrations and not only do I think they do a good job representing African people as a whole, it would lead to a fun art project with the students. You cou ...more
Why The Sun And The Moon Live In The Sky is an African folklore and Caldecott Honor Book for primary to intermediate readers. In this delightful tale, the sun is married to the moon and water is their friend. Long ago they all lived on Earth and were all great friends. The sun visited water, but water never visited sun. Water told the sun he would have to build a big house for him to visit because lots of water would be with him when he comes to visit. The sun and moon built a large house so wat ...more
Princess Cassandra
This is probably the dumbest book ever. It's worse than anything I've ever read, and It. Is. Pointless.

Basically, read it if you want to waste your time.

It was so bad, I felt my IQ lowering mega fast.

It's basically telling you how the sun and the moon got into the sky. (The water pushed them out of the house.) I mean, is that dumb or what? Yeah. I'd say it is.

I would give it zero stars if I could, but I can't. Sadly.
This folk tale is actually one told from people in Nigerian tribes. I love all the folk tales I can get my hands on because they are fun and imaginative. They give life to sometimes boring lecture material, and add a touch of culture to a classroom—this book does just that. The Sun and the Moon are married and the Sun is good friends with the Water. The Sun always would go visit the Water but the Water would never come visit the Sun and the Moon because he said that there wasn’t enough room. He ...more
This book was quite different but the short length to it and fun illustrations allow children to have an imagination. I wouldn’t say I was super impressed by the book however it is a Caldecott Winner and I can see why with the depth and idea of African tribesmen. This is an African folktale about how the sun and moon came to live up in the sky. Dayrell captured the friendship and generosity of the Sun, the Moon, and the Water perfectly. This friendship and connection between these three items is ...more
The sun and the water are friends who enjoy spending time together, but the sun always has to go to the water's house because the water will never go to the sun's house. When the sun asks why, the water says that he and his people take up too much room. The sun builds a big house so the water can visit. When the water comes with all his people, he takes up the entire house and the sun and moon (sun's wife) have to go on the roof to escape. More of the water's people keep coming, and soon the sun ...more
This was a short folk story from Southern Nigeria explaining how the sun and moon came to live in the sky. It wasn't an especially long story, but it was interesting in that it represents the traditions from many parts of Africa and not just one tribe or African country. The illustrations depict how African tribesman might have dressed as the sun, moon, water, and sea creatures.
This book definitely gets a mention for having one of the strangest author names I've ever seen. Aside from that, it was a really good version of a Nigerian folktale recreated by the author in 1910. The illustrations, which my son couldn't stop flipping through, are brightly colored and feature African tribesmen of the Efik-Ibibio peoples dressed up as the elements with ceremonial masks as faces.

The Sun and Water are friends that live on the Earth. The Sun is always visiting his friend at his h
Marissa Pezzullo
This book caught me off guard because after i read it, I thought wow this actually makes sense. This book talks about why it is that the sun and the moon are in the sky. It is because the water god basically flooded the ground and they actually floated up to the sky on a roof. This would be a fun story to tell in the classroom.
Nicole Eschweiler
This story is a great tale that tells the story of how the sun and moon came to live in the sky. This is a good story for children because it helps give them a explanation for the unexplainable. While the story is of course untrue it is a great resource to use in your classroom when talking about tales.
1969 Caldecott Honor. Favorite Illustration: I don't have a particular favorite, but I love the way the illustrations tell the story by using masks and costumes; much the way the story would be told around a fire originally.
Becky B
Sun invites Water to come over and visit, but Water insists Sun needs to build a bigger house first. So Sun and his wife Moon build a bigger house, and Water and all his family come to visit. But it turns out the Water's family fills the hut to overflowing and Sun and Moon end up pushed out to the sky, where they stay.

There's a nice note at the beginning of this book telling where the author first heard this tale and how the illustrations were chosen to represent tribes all over Africa. If you'r
Elena Boteva
Such a cute folk tale. I used to read a lot of those as a kid and I miss them a lot.

I read this one because of the In2Books volunteer program I'm in where I read a book with a third grader and then discuss it via email.
A nice porquoi tale based on an old African folktale. It explains why the sun and his wife, the moon, live in the sky rather than on Earth. Received a Caldecott honor for the illustrations.
An awesome story for international readings. Possible activities leading students to write and illustrate their own stories as to how/why the sun and moon live in the sky, or other natural facts.
I loved the illustrations in the book. The way that the sun, moon, and water are drawn are fantastic, especially all of the water characters. I thought the ending was a little abrupt though.
Garrett Ellis
Very interesting illustrations, i love interesting illustrations! This interesting folklore based story could provide for some interesting conversations amongst your students!
This African folktale tells the story of why the sun and the moon are in the sky. In the story, both moon and sun live on land. Sun insists that his friend water visit. Water warns the sun that in order for him to visit he will need a very large house to hold all of water’s people. Moon helps Water build a house, but it is not big enough. Water and his people take up all the room and Sun and Moon nowhere to go but the sky. This is where they stay forever.

This story is silly. I really enjoyed th
I enjoyed this story. It was simple and the artwork was kind of cool.
Isabella O
It was a cute way of explaining the way nature works
Helen Jeffries
A great book to teach students visualizing.
Jun 01, 2015 Rachelolivia marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Mary Meldrum
I liked the retelling of this story. I am not a fan of the type of art used here but they were appropriate for the story.
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