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Music for Mister Moon
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Music for Mister Moon

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  122 reviews
What if you threw your teacup out your window...and what if it accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky?

A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in frustration. Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moo
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Neal Porter Books
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  475 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Wow! The artwork is very unique. It is soft and fuzzy and has just a little bit of an isolation feel to it. The colors are minimal and it looks like pencil drawings on top of crayons or something. It says oil and pencil.

We meet Harriet Henry who plays the cello. She also has a wonderful imagination. Her parents ask her if she is excited to grow up and play in an orchestra and the thought of all those people scare her. She imagines herself all alone so she can play for herself. She doesn’t like
Hey, kids!

Want to experience a sedate LSD trip illustrated by a depressed woodblock?

Has happiness squeezed itself out of your soul and into a teacup that you then hurl at nocturnal birds who've done you little harm?

Do you wish the moon weren't so friggin' chipper and maybe had sadsack eyes marked by millennia of insomnia?

Does the idea of an unsupervised boat ride across a Lake of Isolation and Reckless Sorrow make your heart sing?

Wouldn't parents be cooler (ha!) if they were penguins?

Do you just
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Phillip Stead's books never follow a logical predictability to them, but are always delightfully quirky and have a dignified absurdity to them. This book is no different.
Destinee Sutton
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is like Where the Wild Things Are if Max was a shy musician who just wanted to be alone. It's thematically similar: imagination, a journey, rejection, acceptance. But of course it's also got that signature Stead quirkiness that makes it either super lovable or just plain strange depending on your taste.

The art is exquisite -- I always love Erin Stead's illustrations. The text meanders in a way that works better the more times you read it. For example, when the room fills up with smoke, I w
Leonard Kim
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the Stead-iest book yet. I read it with a furrowed brow throughout and I would not recommend it to *anyone*. And yet, it might be their masterpiece.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic
Harriet Henry only wants to play her cello for herself. When she throws her teacup to shoo away an owl and accidentally knocks the moon from the sky, Harriet unexpectedly finds an audience for her music.

This is exactly what I love in a children's book. I love a character who can easily turn her troublesome parents into penguins and can change her mind about performing when she makes a friend. Lovely, lovely illustrations and delightful text.
Artwork is impressive, which we've grown to expect from this talented pair. An interesting take on parental expectations, and the pressure children feel to meet them. The child's dissociation / coping strategy (of imagining parents as penguins) is certainly an option, but the fact that she never has the confrontation with parents may be harder for some readers -- there's no happy ending here. Also: It’s quite long. I'm not sure who is the audience -- it looks like a picture book, but is awfully ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books

3.5 Stars

Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead have become one of my favorite picture book teams to follow. Mr. Stead’s astute words loop arms with Ms. Stead’s soft, sweet pictures perfectly. That said….

I didn’t love Music for Mister Moon. I enjoyed walking alongside Harriet and the moon, but their story didn’t charm me as much as I'd hoped. The Stead elements are all there--like the warm messages and soft, delicate art. But so was the melancholy. These pages felt lonely. And that feeling really ove
Teresa Bateman
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
In this soft and sweet story Harriet Henry, or "Hank" loves to play her cello, but not for an audience. Indeed, she prefers the quiet of her own room where she can be totally herself, and create her own world. However, when the moon gets stuck in her chimney she must extend herself a bit to help him. This is a gentle story with lyrical language and soft muted illustrations that aptly suit the text. The story can be understood on many levels, and should be a balm for introverted children who do n ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this weird and melancholy book so much and it is a true rarity in 2019 picture book world where the illustrations are loud and bright and the text is silly and rote. Don't get me wrong, I love those books and I love sharing them with kids, but I think this book brings something different to the table and will resonate with kids, especially those that are shy or have social anxiety.
Mar 31, 2019 added it
Shelves: publicist-books
Another beautiful book from the Steads about shyness and exploring what you love in the comfort of your own space, and not to the masses.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Like visiting the world of dreams. Thoughtful, surreal, wonderfully illustrated with a classic feel. A true gem on the shelves!
Sarah Middlestead
I adore the Stead’s illustrations, but this story was not as endearing as their others.
Not all children or adults are extroverts or want to be the star of the show. Complemented by beautiful wispy illustrations created with mono printed oil inks, colored pencils, and graphite, this picture book tells the story of a young girl cellist named Harriet Henry who prefers to make music for herself and not an audience, whether it is large or small. Harriet savors her solitude, and when her playing is interrupted by an owl, she becomes increasingly annoyed. In anger, she throws a teacup at ...more
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A collaboration between the Steads is always reason for joy. This picture book explores the imagination of Hank, a young cellist who simply wants to play all alone. When her parents suggest that she play in public, she doesn’t think that sounds good at all. So she imagines them as penguins and heads for her room which she imagines is an isolated warm room. But just as she starts to play, an owl hoots outside. Hank eventually tosses a teacup at the owl but then her cozy home starts to fill with s ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Harriet Henry wants to play her cello, but not for anyone, just for herself. So, when an owl outside her window interrupts with its hooting she throws a teacup at it, knocking the moon from the sky. The moon is friendly, and the two of them visit places in the town the moon would like to experience.

I'm sure there's a message or a meaning I'm not seeing - it's a bit absurd and unpredictable, however, it's also sweet and charming. The illustrations are soft like a dream, and the story is too.

Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidsreads
Illustrations and soft coloring are very beautiful. I try to keep an eye out for books about children playing music (for gifts.)

Harriet likes playing cello but her well-meaning parents talk about playing for the orchestra one day and this frustrates her. An owl outside the window of her room sends her over the edge. An errantly thrown teacup causes unforeseen problems that she must correct. But in the process she makes a new friend she might want to play music for.
Young Harriet loves to play the cello, but hates having an audience. When an owl disturbs her solitary practice, Harriet angrily hurls a teacup out the window--and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky. Can Harriet find the courage to make amends?

Lovely illustrations in a dreamy, muted palette complement this thoughtful story that gracefully touches upon anger management and atonement.
I've come to realize that I adore books like this: inventive adventures with little to no explanation. Life is so magical and free of restrictions when you're a child; books that reflect that are lovely. Erin E. Stead's illustrations are fantastic as always, and the story feels like a fable. Love it!

I adore Philip and Erin Stead's books and I love moon stories. Young girl Harriet (Call me Hank.) longs to play her cello alone in her room. A noisy owl disrupts her playing and she throws her teacup out the window, accidentally knocking the moon out of the sky. What happens next, shown in dreamy illustrations by Erin Stead, feels like a dream, too. Harriet buys the moon a hat from the bear hatmaker (it's chilly) and takes him on a boat rented from a walrus fisherman across a lake (a long-time
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book looks and feels like a classic in the making. It's about having a specific type of talent that can be sometimes isolating - Harriet Henry can play the cello so well they want her to be in an orchestra, the moon provides so much for so many, but he sits alone in the sky. The two find each other when they need each other the most to help one another understand that their talents shouldn't isolate them from the world - but the effects they have can help it ( and maybe even themselves ).

Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
There’s something missing in more than one place in the telling of this story that leaves the reader confused. You’d turn the page and start reading only to flip back to check and see if you had accidentally turned 2 pages. Nope, you really hadn’t missed a page and yep, the story actually had oddly dropped off. I even wondered momentarily if the book had been bound together out of order. The illustrations, especially Mister Moon, the hat maker (bear), and the fisherman (walrus), were really ador ...more
Lynn  Davidson
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harriet wanted only to play her cello alone. One night she accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky when she was trying to quiet an owl. After a nice evening together, Mister Moon asked her to play for him.
Soft and lovely illustrations.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Muted colors, pencil sketches, woodcuts (absolutely exquisite art!) and a quirky, perfect, imaginative story. Must be the Steads! Just the right mixture of melancholy and sweetness. A. A. Milne's original Pooh stories come to mind. Reminds me of my daughter who enjoyed playing piano but hated recitals. Or playing for anyone, really. Wish this story had been around 15 years ago, she would have appreciated it, for sure.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read for Mock Caldecott Awards voting. What a wonderfully, beautiful book. The illustrations are simple sketches with just a hint of coloration. The story is sweet. A young girl who is wanting to play her cello alone throws her teacup at an owl who is hooting outside her window. In the process she knocks the moon out of the sky. The story tells her attempts to make up with the moon and return him to his rightful place in the sky. What a great bedtime story!!!
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Although I love Philip Stead and Erin Stead, I found this book lacking something. It didn't have the "magic" their books usually contain. I love the bear hatmaker and walrus fisherman! Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of this book and found it slightly boring, and the ending was not my cup of tea.
When Harriet "Hank" Henry, throws a tea cup at an owl, and knocks the moon from the sky, she makes it up to him by doing things with Mister Moon that he's always wanted to do. Will she grant Mister Moon's final request, and play her cello for him, even though she is nervous about playing in front of anyone?
Meagan Myhren-bennett
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Young girl's shyness and lack of confidence allows her to escape into a world of imagination that includes only her and the cello she plays. But when she accidentally knocks the moon from the sky she has to help him and in the process adds someone new into her world.

The muted pictures work well with this story.
it’s not me
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are gentle and sweet. Mister Moon made my son and I cry. Such a lovely story about emotions, loyalty, the importance of a fantastic imagination, and doing what you love, in your own way, in your own time. The owl, and her loyalty, and forgiveness, who flies the moon back to where he should be, my favorite part. I loved this book.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Complete picture book magic, feels like a forgotten classic. Misty, soft, surreal illustrations are anchored by the precision of the fine pencil lines. The story is fantastical, the emotional life of a child turned inside out. Almost like if Max from WTWTA had an introverted older sister who played the cello. Would not be surprised if this won some major awards. Highly recommended for ages 6-9.
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Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2010, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead. Together with Erin, he also created Bear Has a Story to Tell, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award honor book. Philip, also an artist, has written and illustrate ...more

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