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

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  241 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Sun and his wife, the moon, lived on Earth and built a large house so that the water people could visit. But so many poured in that they were forced to move to the sky.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 30th 1990 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1968)
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Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone DayrellThe Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony by Lou RhodesBlue Sky by Audrey WoodCloudette by Tom LichtenheldCome On, Rain! by Karen Hesse
Picture Books About the Sky
1st out of 101 books — 3 voters
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna AardemaShadow by Blaise CendrarsBringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna AardemaWhy the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone DayrellAnna Hibiscus by Atinuke
Picture Books On Africa
4th out of 94 books — 3 voters

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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
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...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
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 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...more
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.
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.
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...more
Helen Jeffries
A great book to teach students visualizing.
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.
**** Caldecott Honor (1969) ****

Interesting pictures highlight this African inspired tale about how the Sun and the Moon came to be in the sky.
African folklore story about how the sun and moon ended up in the sky. Cute book and more details than another similar one I read. And the other one I read didn't mention it being related to African folklore... So I liked this one, but overall I liked the other one better, which just had to do with why the sun lives in the sky. Probably Level 1 or 2 book. Kid I read it with loved it and wanted me to read it again!
1969 Caldecott Honor

I actually want to give this 2 1/2 STARS because I liked it better than the other version I read (which at the time I thought was the Caldecott honor...) This version was shorter and straight to the point, and I liked the take on the illustrations. I think both versions had okay illustrations, and very different ways of displaying them. This one was as if you could put it on as a play.
This African story is simply told with wonderful illustrations that depict what appears to be a tribal drama, with the characters ranging from sun, moon and water to all water's many companions, wearing tribal masks and decorative clothing. Being overrun by the water, the sun and moon are forced into the sky. This earlier version far outshines Niki Daly's harder-to-comprehend 1995 rendition.
Good introduction to folk tales. The story also lends itself to how we can create our own stories, Sometimes stories are true and sometimes stories are pretend. Sometimes stories are told to explain how or why something happened. This is a good way to talk about different cultures as well. The illustrations and masks show one of Africa's cultures.
Simply told story about friends Sun and Water and Water's visit to Sun's house. Water brings all of his friends until there is nowhere for Sun and Moon to be but the sky. Sun, Water and Moon are depicted as people wearing African masks. The art supports the text well and represents the culture from whence the tale came. Must see.
Kelsey Black
Feb 26, 2014 Kelsey Black added it
Shelves: pre-2000
This is a fun book that students like to read and enjoy the pictures This book is good for grades 1st-2nd.
Callie Risse
This is about the sun and his wife, the moon, who used to live on Earth. They built a large house so that 'water' could come visit, but there was too much 'water,' so the sun and the moon were forced to move into the sky. This would be a great example of a work of fiction, as opposed to non-fiction.
Cassie Charlesworth
Why do the sun and the moon live in the sky? Well because when they invited water over they got too crowded and were pushed to the roof... then water kept filling up. What else were they to do? Awesome story. This piece of traditional literature is based on African myths and has great illustrations.
This is an african folktale explaining why the sun and the moon live in the sky. I like this book because it shows how different cultures have made explanations for the way our world is made up. I think this book would be good for students to see how people explain the world from a different perspective.
Danann Kistler
This African folktale shared the legend of the sun and the moon. I enjoyed the tribal illustrations in this very short book. The copy I reserved from our library also included an audio cassette, so that was a fun addition. Neat story!

Multicultural Literature
(1 point)
Jul 20, 2010 Gabrielle added it
Shelves: africa, folktales
Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky is a an African folktale with fun illustrations and themes. I would us this text in the classroom to study African folklore or as a character development lesson as it address friendship and keeping promises.
Hatka Prozorac
This book is Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell. This book can be used in Kindergarten to 2 grade classrooms. This book depicts an African folktale which focuses on the birth of the Sun within the solar system.
Used this in my Porquoi tales series at my celebrate with stories program. I contrasted it with another book version and an oral version showing the kids that there are lots of ways to interpret the same story.
Steve Boman
This story is an African folktale that, well, explains why the sun and moon live in the sky. Not only can we use it to give our children a glimpse into another culture, they can reenact the story, as well.
4* art
5* story

I love this short fable, largely because it is short and succinct, which makes it accessible for 3yo. It is hard to fin short fables, like The First Strawberries.
Jun 19, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We've read another book with the same story, but this book has some very interesting tribal illustrations. It's a short tale, with fun pictures, so it makes for a good book at storytime.
Anne Smith
Caldecott honor award. An African folktale that explains that the sun and the moon had to go to the sky because the house they built was not big enough for their friend water.
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