The Man in the Moon by William Joyce - The first in the Guardians of Childhood series

I must have been living under a rock to miss all the hype surrounding The Guardians of Childhood series. With thirteen scheduled books, in a mix of both picture and chapter formats, and a DreamWorks movie, starring Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law, how could anyone overlook it? Yet, when the big book version of the first book in the series arrived on my doorstep last week, I sort of pushed it to the side. I had lots of more important books to read. Then I saw quotes from two of my favorite living writers: “It instantly became my children's favorite book” - Michael Chabon, “A fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairytale world. Dark. Mysterious. Stunning!” – Maurice Sendak. Those two literary gods alone were enough hype to turn my attention!

Author William Joyce has been working on the idea of telling the histories of childhood icons for twenty years. The first release in the series is The Man in the Moon is an origin story, explaining not only how the man in the moon came to be, but also why the earth’s moon glows. The book is chock-full of gorgeously luminous illustrations and a whimsical fun. Yet, The Man in the Moon also has a sinister mysteriousness about it.

While The Man in the Moon makes for a fantastic read aloud, it is not an easy picture book to read. Though listed as appropriate for four years+, I assert that the four year old would need to be quite advanced to understand the intricacies of the story. My educated guess would place miM at the primary level of six years+. As for independent reading, and I have not actually leveledThe Man in the Moon,my educated guess would be third grade+. Even then, some vocabulary will be troublesome.

The Man in the Moonis the first of six picture and seven chapter books by William Joyce. They will tell the stories of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny and Jack Frost. The DreamWorks movie, Rise of the Guardians, is due November of 2012 and rumored to be in 3-D.

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Genre: Fantasy
Format: Picture Book
Age: 4 - 8
Pages: 56
Themes: Friendship, Courage, Love
Character Development: Fair - I think more will come as the series progresses
Plot Engagement: Good
Originality: Excellent
Believability: Good
Thank You to the publisher for my advance copy
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Date: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1442430419
Check out the fabulous Book Site HERE

Here’s the book trailer to further your interest:


The next book in the series is a chapter book titled Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King. You can read the first chapter HERE. 

William Joyce is well known for the Rolie Polie Olie books and animated series which won him three Emmys. In addition his named is attached in one way or another to the animated movies Toy Story, Robots, A Bug's Life and Meet the Robinsons. You can read more about him HERE. ____________________________________________________________ © 2007-2011 Cheryl Vanatti for
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