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The Moon Jumpers

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  548 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A lyrical story of night-time, in which four small children and a black cat find themselves enchanted with the loveliness of the hot summer night and the magic of the moon. The illustrator won the American Library Association's Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are, in 1964.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by HarperCollins (first published 1959)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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A beautiful and poetic book. Children play outside in the dusk on a warm night. Simple and profound. The story takes you back to being a child, feeling the grass under your bare feet and cartwheeling without a worry in the world apart from bedtime coming too soon.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
This was lovely! Not sure why it isn't more widely read -- perhaps parents now are uncomfortable with the idea of children playing outside at night?
Magic. This book is a delight and stunning. It conveys that magic feeling of how right the world can be as a child on a lovely evening with friends and a feeling of freedom.

Maurice Sendak is once again the illustrator. He must have illustrated every other book out at the time. He was one busy bee. There are 2 pages of black and white drawing with text and then there is a whole page spread of no words and this beautiful detailed painting of the children jumping under the moon. They are stunning
Lisa Vegan
Yes, I laughed with recognition. So this text/illustrations did capture those feelings of being young and outdoors playing after dark. I was glad when the pages had the color illustrations. I didn’t like the black & white ones here as much even though on their own some of them were wonderful; going back and forth between color and not color felt jarring to me though. Very poetic text and many of the illustrations were lovely and evocative. I’m not normally a huge Sendak fan but I did enjoy ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
You may not believe this, but kids used to play outdoors on warm summer nights. A wonderful, nostalgic look at the way things were. It brought back some lovely memories.
Kristine Hansen
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me feel nostalgic. I remember as a child running outside in the moonlight, playing and dancing like the Moon Jumpers do in this book. The pictures evoke the mood perfectly. The story is one of a time not that long ago, and I wonder if children today play in the darkened yard the way I did then. I want to share this book with my children and remind them to play in the moonlight too sometimes.
Linda Lipko
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Calling themselves the moon jumpers, they twirl and swirl and play silly monster games.

Singing and dancing, they celebrate life and the lovely moon glow.

After reading a number of books containing Sendak's illustrations, I was pleasantly surprised that the only darkness in this tale was the shadows cast on the lawn from playful delight.

Sendak can indeed get a little heavy at times, and thus it was a pleasant surprise to absorb the beauty of a fun story with beautiful illustrations.

It is summer
Robert Davis
**** Caldecott Honor (1960) ****

I liked the images by Maurice Sendak, although only half of the pictures are colored. The prose struck me as being a bit banal and florid and not all that appealing. Frankly, I liked the pictures of the cat more than anything else. A bit boring for children I think.
Katie Fitzgerald
Maurice Sendak was already one of my favorite children’s authors and illustrators before I saw this book, but his illustrations of these children playing outside at night took me right back to my own childhood. I love the way he depicts the glow of the moon on the tree branches and on the lawn, and that one of the little boys looks just a tiny bit like Max. Janice May Udry also gets major kudos for lines like, “We climb the tree just to be in a tree at night.” Why do kids do things? Often just ...more
Krista (MoonDustBookLust)
"But we're not children, we're the Moon Jumpers!"

I really loved this children's book. It struck a place inside me and stirred memories of playing outside on summer nights. My son enjoyed the story and the illustrations. His favorite part was the cat that popped up throughout the pictures.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
See also the book in this thread:, especially the posts made July 2019.
Margaret Chind
When I picked up this book to read I did not know that it was an old story and was surprised to see the 1959 copyright date. Now I realize that this is part of a rerelease of Sendak's illustrated books in memory and honor. I'm surprised I've never heard of this before because it is fabulous. I can see why it is an honor book. The text is lyrical and poetic with a rhythm all it's own. Each page set alternates with black and white illustration and text to full color illustration void of any ...more
Robert J
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Moon Jumpers is a 1960 Caldecott Honor book. It is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated. The story follows four children as they play outdoors. They run, dance,play tag, climb trees, tell ghost stories and jump, but can't touch the moon. The story brings back memories of the night time play I enjoyed as a child. I can relate to the disappointment they feel as mom calls them in for the night with, "it's time." The picture depicts their sadness as they follow the cat from the ...more
I thought this one was just okay, although maybe I would come to like it more after multiple rereads. I do remember the magical feeling of playing games outside in the yard at night with other kids, and something of that feeling is captured here. But I felt like it was broken up a bit with the use of alternating black and white pages containing text and color pictures with no text. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more with all color illustrations. The color illustrations were more in line ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: b
My 5 yo son and I LOVED this book. A possible idea for his birthday next year. <3 We have great plans for a summer romp in the moonlit meadow. <3 Can't wait!
Laura Brandon
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book, with images that allow for deeper thought and consideration of the characters and their thoughts. The images tell us more than the story, and can open up discussion about how we comprehend the images to develop comprehension skills. Within the images, many of the conventional illustrative techniques are used, and could therefore also be discussed with this text.
Daniel Rodd
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Fantastic illustrations. This book could be given to children and provoke a discussion about night and day. However, it has no clear narrative so the focus would instead have to be on the children and their emotions and the changing world around them rather than the story. Nether the less a really nice children's book.
Shaley Dunn
This book to me is all about childhood. It is about children dreaming of touching the moon. Doing everything they can to touch it. It was very interesting to see all of the different things these kids did to touch the moon becuase i could see real children doing these things.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I consider this (most likely erroneously) as a "Maurice Sendak book" since he illustrated it. (Janice May Udry? Who is that?) This is probably, next to Where the Wild Things Are, my favorite Maurice Sendak book.
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another Caldecott nomination for Sendak - the illustrations are as lovely as the story.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting pictures and story—even though nothing really happens. My four-year-old wanted to play outside in the moonlight too.
Alexis Espinosa
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Moon Jumpers is about a group of siblings who play in the moonlight when it is night time and have all kinds of adventures and imagine many different things. This book is a lyrical story about four children who embrace the nightly summer sky with their black cat. This book is a fictional children's picture book with a lyrical format and reading level of about preschool to third grade because the text is for moderate to simple readers.

Comments/Observations: This book theme is using your
Carey H
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is about young children playing outside at night. They dance and somersault in the grass, tell ghost stories,sing songs and make up poems--all under the glow of the moon. They jump up high--knowing no one can touch the moon. When their mother called them in, they said they were not children--they were moon jumpers!

This book made me smile! These children were creative and imaginative--at night! This type of play at night may not be safe in many places these days; however, it was at the
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd314
I was excited to read this book because it's illustrator is Maurice Sendak from the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are"! I loved the illustration's in this book and the imagination. Children take the simplest things and make them grand, the stuff we take for granted is their magic lands or their landscape for their adventures. This book was fun and mysterious and the illustrations made it that much better!
Luisa Knight
I did love playing out in the yard when I was little and the moon was full and bright. The glow it cast made things look enchanted; and it really was the best for playing things like Tag and Kick the Can. Definitely a one-of-a-kind story.

Ages: 4 - 8

Cleanliness: The father smokes a pipe. Children dance. Mentions children tell ghost stories.
Maria Rowe
• 1960 Caldecott Honor Book •

This story of kids playing during a summer night brought back some childhood memories! Really pretty, quiet book with lovely illustrations.

Materials used: unlisted
Typeface used: unlisted
Mel Ann
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kids have come so far from the times we used to play outside.
Willow Redd
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful goodnight tale of children playing outside trying to catch the moon with artwork by Maurice Sendak.

Yet another library sale find.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Joyous! Maurice Sendak’s pictures are fantastic.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't love this story -- and it's described as "lyrical" Shocking!!! But the illustrations were lovely. ...more
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Janice May Udry is an American author. She was born in Jacksonville, Illinois and graduated from Northwestern University in 1950. Her first book, A Tree is Nice, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1957 for Marc Simont's illustrations. Her papers are held at the University of Southern Mississippi.