Janet Ruth Heller,
How The Moon Regained Her Shape
(Sylvan Dell, 2007)

How The Moon Regained Her Shape is the kind of book I wish I had in my possession as a child. Not only is the story endearing, but there are sections to challenge young inquisitive minds including a glossary of "moon" vocabulary containing scientific facts on lunar shapes and even a moon recipe for baking.

To coincide with the Native American theme, we also have information pertaining to the lifestyles and surroundings of tribes who believed in keeping track of the seasons by naming each of the full moons. This is a lovely way for children to have an introduction into American Indian folklore.

To keep in line with the National Curriculum in Citizenship, we have a parallel theme of bullying using the moon and sun as metaphors. In essence, the sun "bullies" the moon, who loses her shape and confidence and seeks allegiance in others to rekindle her sparkle.

The illustrations are a combination of American Indian patterns and vivid colours. I think this book would be most valuable in the Key Stage 2 area, but I don't think older children would find it babyish as there are very sophisticated tasks in the back of the book that they could incorporate into a science lesson.

Janet Ruth Heller is using her initiative by making her book not only visual, but also one containing kinaesthetic tasks that children can tackle hands on.

review by
Risa Duff

25 August 2007

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