Are your kids as fascinated with the moon as mine are? If so, then you need to put these children’s books about the moon on your reading list. Stat.
This list of children’s picture books about the moon is about looking at the moon through an imaginative lens. When reading these children’s books your kids will certainly learn a few facts about the moon, but that is not the focus of these moon books. We humans have long woven myths and folktales around that gleaming silver globe in the sky. (Oooh, dear. Stop me before I reveal what a truly purple writer I am.) I’ve focused primarily on stories which draw upon our collective attraction to the moon as a thing of mystery, beauty and inspiration rather than books with scientific explanations.
The titles below are especially good choices if you are looking for moon themed books for preschooler and elementary aged children. (Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup. This wonderful picture book uses die-cut pages to show the changing moon as it shines down on different environments around the world. The rhyming text will delight children and adults alike. Lovely!
Wait Till the Moon Is Full by Margaret Wise Brown. This collaboration from classic author and illustrator Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams was a childhood favorite of mine. A young raccoon tells his mom he wants to go out at night and know the night things, like owls and “how dark is the dark.” The mother raccoon, however, tells her little one that he needs to “Wait. Wait till the moon is full,” before he can go out and play with his friends. When — finally — the moon is full, the nocturnal joy of the animals will infect you. Don’t miss it.
Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper. This story reminds me so much of my childhood, when I would watch the moon from the car window just like Max! After he says goodbye to his Grandpa, Max watches the moon following him on the car ride home. The moon passes behind trees, over bridges, along the ridge of hills. He wonders if the moon will always be there for him, just like his Grandpa told him it would be. Floyd Coopers illustrations are gorgeous. This is a wonderful book.
How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers: A Simple but Brilliant Plan in 24 Easy Steps by
Mordicai Gerstein. This new book is part picture book, part graphic novel with deadpan humor and will appeal to kids with a sense of adventure and a love of inventions. A creative boy decides to get to the moon, by bike! And he does! All it takes is a very long garden hose, a bicycle and a huge imagination. Great fun.
The Way Back Home byOliver Jeffers. A boy finds an airplane in his closet and decides it’s the perfect vehicle to take him to space. When he crashes on the moon he meets an equally intrepid Martian who also needs help getting his ship started again. This is a charming story of friendship and cooperation.
The Moon Jumpers by Janice May Udry. Alternating between black and white illustrations with text and wordless color two page spreads, this 1959 classic follows the nighttime adventures of a group of siblings as they romp outdoors under a full moon. It beautifully explores the imaginative power of free play.
Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant. Rylant takes the reader on a lovely quiet tour of all the calendar names for the monthly moons. She begins with the Stormy Moon of January and ends with the Long Night Moon of December.
Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky. A wonderful porquoi tale. Water wonders why he is never invited to Sun’s house. Sun replies that his house is not large enough and sets out building a new one to accommodate his friend. But when water comes to visit, he fills the entire house and there is no longer room enough for Sun and his spouse, Moon. Can you guess where they found a new home? I particularly like the illustrations, with their emphasis on the mask.
Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop. Red Knit Cap Girl is searching for the moon. She wants to talk to it and is joined on her journey by a few woodland friends. A lovely story about finding the beauty around us.
The Great Moon Hoax by Stephen Krensky. Based on a real story about a real hoax that perfectly captures the public’s desire to imagine extraordinary happenings in outer space. In the summer of 1835, Jake and Charlie are paperboys for The Sun when the paper starts to print wild stories about what a South African astronomer sees on the moon through his telescope. Really strange stuff: blue bearded bison, moon beavers, man-bats! It’s pretty amazing to think that people believed the stories! This book is not perfect, but I’m including it because my son and I found it so interesting and it sparked an great conversation about truth and propaganda. Want to chat with your kids about how the media blows events out of proportion? This book might be a good starting point.
Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Helen Berger. A mostly wordless book, this is a good choice for bedtime as the overall pace and tone of the book radiates peace and gentleness. My kids liked this when they were younger and were fascinated by the illustrations of the moon growing from a pearl.
When the Moon Forgot. I first discovered this book because I loved Jimmy Liao’s book, Sound of Colors. A lonely boy finds the moon in a pond. He fishes it out with his butterfly net and takes it home. Around him, the people wonder what has happened to the moon and they start to manufacture substitutes. Meanwhile, the boy nurtures the real moon until it is time for it to return to the sky. There aren’t too many kids books translated from the Chinese, and this one is worth the read.
I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis. Much of my love for this book is a result of Alison Jay’s illustrations. Admittedly, I am a fan of her style. The text, too, is gentle and who doesn’t imagine the moon following after him in the sky. It certainly seems that way to me sometimes.
Moon Mouse. We have a vintage copy of this out-of-print title and oh, how it made my then-4 year old laugh and laugh that the mouse thought he found a way to taste the moon made of cheese. See if your library has a copy or pick up a used version!
Clementine by Sebastian Loth. Clementine the snail loves all things round so she and her earthworm friend, Paul, decide to build a rocket to launch her to the round, round moon. On her journey though space she discovers, to her utter delight, that the earth is also round!
Want more great books to spark the imagination? Try these book lists:
- Nonfiction space picture books (coming soon!)
- Best bedtime picture books
- Science fiction picture books
- Wonderful wordless picture books
Try adding in these moon facts during your read aloud time!