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When the Moon Comes
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When the Moon Comes

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  95 reviews
In this atmospheric story, a group of kids play hockey on a frozen lake by moonlight. At once nostalgic and timely, this is a gorgeous book that will speak to readers young and old.

The beaver flood has finally frozen--perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. For the kids in town, it's Christmas in November. They wait, impatiently, for the right moment.

Finally, it arrives:
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Tundra Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  371 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Wow, this was magical book. About kids who are waiting for the magic ice to form and for the full moon to shine, so that they can skate in the night (I do wonder why the parents let their kids just go that far without supervision, oh well).

The first part of the book is the sweet anticipation, you can just feel it drip from the pages. The kids are all excited, all waiting, all hoping that the time will be there soon.
The next part
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own!

In this beautifully told picture book, a group of children anxiously wait until the time is just right ("when the moon comes") for a night of skating, hockey, and memory making on a frozen lake. The figurative language and descriptions in this book are lovely. The text is perfectly complemented by the illustrations, which are as starkly beautiful as winter itself. Working in a community where hockey
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books About Ice Hockey and/or Wintertime
The young narrator of this lovely Canadian picture-book from author Paul Harbridge and illustrator Matt James waits for the full moon, when the local beaver flood will be ready for a game of ice hockey. The magic of the evening-time trip to the flood with his friends, the icy pleasure of their game, and the enchanted beauty of the wintry world around them, are all captured in text and art...

I found When the Moon Comes a beautiful, quietly contemplative exploration of the winter-time experiences
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a gorgeous picture book that spoke to me of days past. It is November and the children are waiting to go skating and play hockey on the Beaver flood. They need to wait for the full moon and it finally comes. They must trudge through the snow to get to their "perfect ice". They have a great time on the outdoor ice, with frozen pants, red cheeks and stiff hair. It brings back memories of skating on the outdoor rinks that have almost disappeared today. The illustrations are perfect for this ...more
Wayne McCoy
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
'When the Moon Comes' by Paul Harbridge with illustrations by Matt James is a story of winter and moonlit lakes.

A nearby beaver pond has flooded. Now that the cold of November has come, it has frozen over, but it's not quite time to go play hockey. The boys wait impatiently until it is time. Then they walk into the woods in the cold and build a fire to keep warm. They put on their skates and clear the snow so they can play in the moonlight.

I loved the prose of this story. It's written with an el
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful tale! It brought back so many memories of us neighborhood kids playing at night by the light of a summer moon! Lovely illustrations; so intimate. I wonder if there are still quiet places children can play long into the night without fear?
Pop Bop
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Drawings and Text Partner Beautifully

In the wrong, (that is, heavy), hands a book like this could be twee or precious or tone deaf. Childhood nostalgia is incredibly tough, and poetic nostalgia in a children's book is the toughest of all. Have no fear - our author never comes near to skating on thin ice.

Rather, we get the children's book hat trick - evocative drawings that perfectly complement the text, restrained and sensitive but crisp and descriptive prose, and a general feeling of comfort an
Melanie Woo
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: winter
A magical story! I didn't grow up in Canada, don't skate especially well have and have never played hockey, but after reading this story to my daughter (who does skate well and plays hockey), I feel like I know what it's like to have played pond hockey under the light of the moon in the dead of winter. ...more
Michele Knott
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to read this story to readers this winter. Capturing that small moments story - the first time on the ice for that winter season. This book is going to capture that attention of young readers! ...more
Dave Jablonski
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Picked up at my local Chapters. My son loves it! Really great pictures. Great story!
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice story about a group of boys in a rural area who are waiting for a full moon to come so they can play hockey on a frozen lake at night.
Katie Fitzgerald
I really liked the artwork - it made me feel like I was out in the cold and dark preparing to play hockey. I'm not a big sports person, and I have never even gone ice skating, but I was thoroughly invested in the story and enjoyed living vicariously through the characters. The text reminded me a little bit of Owl Moon - poetic, descriptive, and evocative - and I also appreciated the few wordless pages that showed moments for which words were not necessary. This book stood out amongst the other p ...more
Dan Richardson
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hockey
What a gorgeous book! Having grown up in Northern Alberta, this book takes me back to my youth playing pond hockey. I loved reading this to my 6 year old who's been skating for a few years and is just starting hockey this fall. ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt like I was actually there, speeding down the ice. I could feel the cold in my bones and the warmth in my heart.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book takes you deep into the arms of winter. The illustrations are beautiful works of art depicting winter, friendship and tradition. The text tell the story of friends who create magic on ice with the help of the light from the moon. This would be a great book in the classroom when discussing winter themes and images.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
won an advanced reader.
kids wait for the perfect night to play the first hockey game of winter on the lake. i imagine this is what growing up in the snow country is like, so beautiful the story, the art the mood, the interactions of the kids. first time in my life i ever wanted to be Canadian or Minnesotan.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Makes me remember the nights we skated by moonlight on the outdoor flooded basketball courts of the local elementary schools. Vivid ,perfect picture book of the time and place..
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A perfect story to experience the season’s first night on ice. Filled with wonder, each glorious detail is highlighted as the children experience the magic.
Arlene Sandersson
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports-hockey
Really beautiful! Incredible art.
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think the writing in this book might be underappreciated by its target audience. I'm sure they'll enjoy reading it, but the writing was just so beautiful. It was elegant and flowed in a way that really made this story feel magical.

As a parent, I would freak out if my kids were doing something like this (leaving in the middle of the night to walk through snow up to their waist, building a fire, and staying out until their toes are numb). It did make a good story, though. There's a lake or a po
Sarah Cass
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute childrens book about the 'magic ice' on an untouched stretch of water in a forest. Kids in a neighborhood go on a night time field trip with a campfire, hockey, and moonlight.

I really enjoyed this, and I bet it's gorgeous in full print format where you can see the images laid out side by side.

*Copy received free via netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Saburi Pandit
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautiful, expressive and evocative illustrations that make a simple story, magical and deeply satisfying. Definitely pick it up for your kids, nephews and nieces! 😊
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A haunting (not ghosts) story of the frozen pond, moonlight and ice skaters.

Checkout the book cover under the jacket!
Nov 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge is a beautifully written book about a group of children and their love of their rural setting in the winter. The children are guided by nature as to when they can skate on their beaver flood; they follow the phases of the moon and watch for the ducks to fly south. Harbridge’s imagery draws the reader into each scene. For example, on the first page of text the author describes, “...when you walk in the woods, the leaves shatter under your feet like glass.” Th ...more
Of course, I had to share a moon book this week of the eclipse, super moon and blue moon. I saw this at the library "moon" display and it is a new one to me. The cold has arrived and as the story goes, kids agree at recess that the moon is right and it's time to have the first "game". This seems like old times, but perhaps not in some places. This group travels in a cold, cold winter wonderland after snow has blanketed the pond. It is below zero, they are dressed warm, but still shiver, maybe al ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Pictures better than the story.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
Love, love, love. Hoping that special someone who would totally get this, will still want to snuggle up and read it with me.
This beautiful text reminds me of Owl Moon. I am teased by the words, "We have to wait for the moon." "For what?" I wondered. The answer is worth anticipating. GGBooks Finalist (Canadian book award). ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a really lovely Canadian import. The illustrations are sketchy but perfectly capture the cold Canadian evening, the crackling fire, and the thrill of good ice and a fast hockey game. I really liked it!
Tasya Dita
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for honest review

This book is definitely targeted towards audience that are younger than I thought. I think the story is lovely and the illustration is magical- it makes me can't wait to experience snow myself!- but the story just felt too simple to me. I feel like children (who is the target audience for this book) will definitely enjoy the story though!
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