Many Moons

by James Thurber

Other authorsLouis Slobodkin (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1943




New York, Harcourt, Brace and company [1943]


Though many try, only the court jester is able to fulfill Princess Lenore's wish for the moon.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lorsomething
Every child should read this to understand that the world looks different to each of us and one person's way of looking at things is just as valid as another's.
LibraryThing member elpowers
Nice story, pretty watercolor pictures, tells like a fairy tale, almost.
LibraryThing member adharrington
Many Moons by James Thurber is the story of a young princess who falls ill and tells her father, the King, that the only thing that can make her feel better is the moon. The king therefore calls upon all of his wise men and asks them to figure out how to get the moon for his daughter. The court
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Jester turns out to be the only one clever enough to solve the problem.

Although this story was originally published in 1943 this was my first experience reading it. It is a humorous tale with what looks to be watercolor illustrations. I really like the way the court jester used common sense to appease the princess.

In the class room I would use this book to show that sometimes problems that seem to be overwhelming can have very simple solutions. It would also be a good critical thinking and use of imagination exercise.
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LibraryThing member ccondra
Discuss why the court jester was wiser than all of the other men that worked for the king. Have the students explain why the princess thinks there are two moons.
LibraryThing member rturba
Genre: Fantasy Review: This book depicts fantasy very well. The characters are developed enough to make it believable, yet the situations they are in are completely fantastical. The solution for the princesses problems are easily explainable, yet the solutions people come up with are unrealistic.
LibraryThing member KristinWhite
This book is good for children first to second grade. It encourages kids to use their imagination. It also shows kids that not everyone thinks of things in the same way, in this case about the moon.
LibraryThing member conuly
And some are classics because they're JUST THAT GOOD.

Many Moons is in the second one. Fully twenty years after I read it as a child, I picked it up and was able to remember the plot. That's lasting power.

This is a funny book about the difference in perceptions - who is right about the moon? - and
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in wisdom. It has a simple funny story on the top, but it invites a few different deeper discussions with young children. Love it :)

I will note that it's a little wordy for a picture book. You may want to save this for reading aloud to an older child, or even waiting for them to read it to themselves!
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LibraryThing member lisablythe
Many Moons is the tale of an ill princess who is convinced that if only she could have the moon, she would get well. Her father, the king, calls on different members of his court to solve this dilemma, but none are able to get the moon for the princess. Feeling dejected, the king calls on the court
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jester and tells him the problem. The jester decides to ask the princess her perceptions of the moon, and with this in mind, he is able to help.

In my Astronomy class, we were able to view the moon through a powerful telescope. My son was allowed to go with me and it was quite awesome for us to be able to share such a sight.

For a classroom extension, we would learn the distance between the earth and the moon and what the moon is made of. The whole class would also participate in building a solar system in class.
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LibraryThing member aflanig1
This book is about an ill princess who thinks the only way she can get better is if she has the moon. The book shows her father constantly trying to get the princess the moon but fails. The princess is more ill of the heart than of the body.
LibraryThing member JackieHancox
I was delighted by this tale of the princess who was able to problem solve to get what she wanted - the moon. I chuckled at the humorous storyline and fell in love with the doodle, dream-like illustrations. Their bright colours and simplistic design seemed a perfect match to the simple solution to
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the problem at hand. I can easily see why this book has become such a classic!
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LibraryThing member katyguerra
Many Moons is about a ten year old girl who falls iss from eating too many Raspberry tarts. She tells her Father the King, in order for her to get better she needs the Moon. The king asks the Wizard, Mathmatician and others how to get the Moon. They all say it is very far away and too big. (they
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all have different lengths and soze for the Moon) The Court Jester is the one who decides to just ask the Princess what she thinks the Moon is and how far it is. She tells him it is made of gold and it gets stuck in the trees. The Jester has a little Moon made out of gold for the Princess to wear. The next issue is how to hide the Moon from the Princess the next night, The Jester is the only one to ask the Princess how to hide the Moon.

I really enjoyed this story. It showed that everyone thinks differently and has different ideas on how to fix a problem.

I would ask the class to write/tell how far the Moon is and what it is made of. I would also have the children draw the moon, and have them tell tell the class what they think the Moon is made out of.
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LibraryThing member kyleejohnson
Many Moons is about an ill little princess named Lenore who asks her dad for the moon. She believes if she gets the moon she will be well again. Her dad goes to his advisors in his kingdom and asks them to get the moon for his daughter, and all of them say it is impossible except for the Court
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Jester. He goes and asks Lenore how big she thinks the moon is and what she believes it is made out of, and he makes her the moon. The king worries Lenore will still see the moon in the sky, but the princess explains that the moon replaced itself, just like other things in the world do.

A lot of little girls could relate to Lenore, just like my little sister. I read this book to her when she was about nine years old, and she fell in love with it. I liked the pictures and the imagination that was used to write this story.

This book would be great to read while learning about the moon. Then the teacher can explain what the moon is really made of and how far away it actually is from earth. Also, the teacher can have a conversation with the class about how everyone is different, and there are various opinions of what things are. He or she can relate it back to what the king’s supervisors all thought of what the moon was. Then the class can draw a picture of the moon and hang it up as wall art.
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LibraryThing member genevieve1331
“Many Moons,” by James Thurber is a modern fantasy story about a young princess who falls ill. She says that she will only get better when someone brings her the moon. After the king’s three wisest men fail to do so because the moon is too far away and too big, he rests helpless and asks the
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jester what he thinks to do. The jester decides to ask the princess how big and far away the moon is, and she says not far since it rests in the branches of the trees at night and not big since she can cover it up with her thumbnail. The jester gets the goldsmith to make a small gold moon for the princess, and she returns to good health, but further issues arise when the king becomes distressed because the moon will rise again and the princess will know that her moon is a fake. When the three wise men fail the king again with this issue, the jester decides to go talk to the princess, who says that it’s easy to understand why the moon comes back. Its just like when she looses a tooth and a new one grows in it’s place or when a gardener cuts a flower and a new one grows back.

Just as the title suggests, there can be many moons. Despite what the actual scientific reasons are for things, it is quite possible to let your imagination run free and decide for yourself just what the moon is. I found this book great because it encourages readers to be free thinkers and not simply believe that things are impossible because others say so. It encourages imagination and self discovery, which is great for the intended reader.

After reading this book, I might encourage readers to create their own depiction of the moon. They could create the moon just how they see it every night, despite what others tell them to believe about it. With their moon, they could create a brief summary explaining how and why they view the moon the way that they do. This book could also be used to discuss how no ones views are right and wrong. A teacher could bring in an everyday object that could be passed around the class, and the kids could describe the different ways that they would use it, encouraging imagination just like the book.
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LibraryThing member dmarie8
1943 Caldecott Medal Winner. The little princess in this story is very sick from eating one too many raspberry tarts. She will only feel well again if she is given the moon. The king immediately goes to all his wise assistants, such as the Royal Wizard, and the Lord High Chamberlain. After listing
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all the things they have given to the king, they explain to him that getting the moon would be impossible, and they simply cannot do it. This disheartens the king, who calls for the court jester to cheer him up. Although the jester was not called for his wisdom, he turns out to be the only one to make the princess's dream come true. He has the goldsmith make a little moon for her, which she then wears as a necklace. Kids in K-2nd grade would enjoy the magical and fantastical elements in this story. In the classroom, this could be used with a fairy tale theme, or just as an enjoyable read-aloud.
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LibraryThing member csloan
This a book about a princess who is sick and wants the king to get the moon and she will feel better. So the king tries all of the smartest men he had to have them get the moon for him. They all explained that you cannot just go get the moon. The jester went and asked the princess what size she
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thought the moon was and what she thought it was made of. She thought it small and made out of gold , so the jester went to the local goldsman and had him make her a gold moon. The King thought she would see it the next night and she did but she thought it just gre back like flowers or a tooth.
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LibraryThing member Treeseed
This delightful Caldecott Medal winner is classic James Thurber and as such is filled with sweet humorous prose with a witty little message. Louis Slobodkin's simple yet evocative ink and water color illustrations help bring the story to life. When a little princess is ill her father, the king, is
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worried and is willing to get her anything her heart desires if only she will get well. When the princess decides she wants the moon she sets off a chain reaction of worries for the wisemen of the court as well as for the king. All of the best minds of the kingdom are dismayed when they cannot come up with a way to get the moon for the princess. Their final analysis: IMPOSSIBLE! The court Jester gets to the heart of the problem and with the help of the princess and the wisdom of childhood, not only presents the princess with her heart's desire but can explain why the moon still appears up in the sky. Don't miss this lovely book. It's a great tucker-inner and is as fun to read aloud as it is to hear it read.
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LibraryThing member bereneezypie
The book was cute (probably shouldn't have read it after An Undone Fairytale). The illustrations were very well done. The book can be read to children of all ages as a perfect bed time story.
LibraryThing member katiekinsey
Many Moons

Many Moons is about a little princess who has fallen ill and believes that the only thing that would make her better is the moon. Upon hearing this, the king calls on some of the smartest people he knows to find a way to get the moon to his daughter. After having no luck with the three
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wise men, the king calls for the jester to play him some sad music. The jester listens to the king’s problem then comes up with a brilliant idea. He just has to ask the princess how she thinks to get the moon. After hearing the princess’s answers, the jester runs down to the blacksmith to have him make a necklace of gold to symbolize the moon. He then gave it to the princess and she was suddenly better. The next day, however, the king was stricken with grief when he realized that his little princess was going to see the moon in the sky that night and not believe the moon is on her necklace. So, again, he called up the three wise men, and, again, had no luck finding an answer to his problem. Then in comes the jester to play his sad music for the king when he says to ask the princess again what she thinks. So the jester runs off to her room to ask her how the moon could be in the sky if it was around her neck. She simply told him that it is like when she loses a tooth, it comes back.

This was such a cute book to read, especially for kids. Books that make kids want to reach for the moon are awesome. I think what the author was trying to get at is that some of the wisest men cannot answer some of the simplest questions. We must look to everyone for help and single no person out.

Extended Ideas:
1.We could make moons of our own during art to hang around our necks.
2.We could play a game where only the jester knows the answer to a question, but no one but the jester knows who the jester is. This helps kids realize that not just the smart people have all the answers.
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LibraryThing member akmargie
One of my favorite picture books. But since it's Thurber its has massive appeals for adults too. Such a sweet, funny, modern fairy tale
LibraryThing member shojo_a
This was one of my favorite books as a kid.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Many Moons, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin.

Wonderful, wise, heartwarming and humorous, this original fairy-tale from James Thurber, celebrated cartoonist and short-story writer, as well as author of a number of (other) classic children's books - The Thirteen Clocks, The Wonderful O - follows the
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story of a sick little princess who wishes for the moon. Her indulgent father, determined that she shall become well, summons his Lord High Chamberlain, Royal Magician, and Royal Mathematician, but each in turn tells him that the idea is impossible: the moon cannot be brought to the princess. It falls to the Court Jester, consoling his sovereign in his distress, to observe that the moon means different things to different people, and to suggest that they ask the Princess Lenore what it means to her...

Originally published in 1943, Many Moons won illustrator Louis Slobodkin the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1944.** The artwork, done in black and white, and then colored in with blue, pink and yellow accents, is quirky and engaging. The style is a little "scribbly," composed with lots of wiggling lines, but it is also very expressive, perfectly capturing the king's exasperation and despair, and the princess's solitude, lying in her bed. I love how Slobodkin captures the humor of the scenes in which the various royal advisers list all that they had done for the king, as the items they mention parade around the edge of the page, in a sort of informal decorative border. All that said, although the artwork is appealing, the real star here is the story, which had me chuckling in appreciation at a number of points - the long list that each adviser pulls out! the king's growing frustration! - and happily engrossed by the clever and witty wordplay at others. Highly recommended to young readers who enjoy fairy-tales, as well as to fans of James Thurber's wonderful work.

**Note: I understand that there is also a newer edition of this story that is illustrated by Marc Simont, who worked on Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks. I will have to pick that version up, to see how a different artist has interpreted this tale.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Many Moons, illustrated by Marc Simont.

This original fairy-tale from James Thurber, in which the young Princess Lenore becomes ill after eating too many raspberry tarts, and asks her concerned father for the moon, was initially published in 1943, and won its original illustrator, Louis Slobodkin, a
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Caldecott Medal in 1944. This newer edition, published in 1990, features the artwork of Marc Simont, who also worked on Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks and The Wonderful O. The text itself has not been changed.

I enjoyed this newer version of Thurber's classic story as much as the original. The word-play was as engaging, the humor as entertaining, and Simont's watercolor illustrations were charming. Slobodkin's were more cartoon-like and quirky, I think, and these more lyrical, but both have their appeal. I particularly liked the scene here in which we see (or don't see, as the case may be) the King as he knocks things over, while wearing the invisibility cloak made for him by the Royal Magician. Hilarious! Recommended to young fairy-tale readers, and to fans of Marc Simont's work.
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LibraryThing member SJoachim
Poor Princes Lenore is sick, and her father, the King, has promised her anything to make her fell better. What do you think the Princess asked her father for? The moon! He asks all of his wise men to get the moon for her, but the only one who can deliver it is the court jester.
LibraryThing member rnelson12
This is a great book that looks at the perceptions of many ages and engagment. We soon learn that princess Leanor knows what she is working gon for the last few dysl of school.
LibraryThing member tercat
This is a really fabulous book with wonderful illustrations. I didn't even realize until I stumbled upon this at the library that Thurber wrote any children's books. Highly recommended.


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