How The Moon Regained Her Shape

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How The Moon Regained Her Shape
This fascinating story influenced by Native American folktales explains why the moon changes shape and helps children deal with bullies. After the sun insults and bullies her, the moon feels so badly hurt that she shrinks and leaves the sky. The moon turns to a comet and her many friends on earth to comfort her. Her friends include rabbits and Native Americans. Then she regains her full shape, happiness, and self-esteem. The moon also returns to her orbit. An educational appendix called “For Creative Minds" gives advice about bullying, scientific information about the moon, and ideas for related crafts, recipes, and games for children.

This fictional story includes a 6-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 30-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. How The Moon Regained Her Shape is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

Written by Janet Ruth Heller, Illustrated by Ben Hodson
32 pg, 8.5 x 10, Ages 6-10, Grades 1-5, Lexile: - 660, AR: 3.4, F&P: N
Hardcover 9780976494348 $15.95  
Paperback 9781607187042 $11.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628553567 $11.95  
EBook 9781607182504 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628550818 Purchase Here
Keywords:   astronomy, moon phases, bullying, self-confidence, social-emotional skill development, Native American folklore, earth science, moon phases, months of year
Animals in the book:   -
Vetters:   Thanks to Wesley R. Swift, Jr., Observatory Director of the Von Braun Astronomical Society for reviewing the "For Creative Minds" section and verifying its accuracy.


This is a wonderful story with outstanding illustration and usefulness. - Children's Literature

The book is lavishly illustrated, by Ben Hodson... Very worthwhile are the instructions at the end of the book on how to observe the Moon, and projects for creating a lunar calendar and directions for illustrating the cycles of the Moon in the night sky. - Science Books & Films

Bullied by the sun, the once cheerful moon dwindles until helped by numerous women. Both the folktale-like story and the art are clearly influenced by Native American culture. The mixed-media illustrations are attractive. - Horn Book Guide

Author/Illustrator Info:

Janet Ruth Heller (How the Moon Regained Her Shape) is the past president of the Michigan College English Association and the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. She has a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. She has published four poetry books: Nature’s Olympics (Wipf and Stock, 2021), Exodus (WordTech Editions, 2014), Folk Concert: Changing Times (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012), and Traffic Stop (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She has also published a scholarly book, Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama (University of Missouri Press, 1990); a middle-grade fiction chapter book for children, The Passover Surprise (Fictive Press, 2015, 2016); and a fiction picture book for children about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006; 7th edition 2022), that has won four national awards, including a Children’s Choices award. She has taught literature, women's studies, composition, linguistics, and creative writing at Michigan State University, Northern Illinois University, Nazareth College, Western Michigan University, Albion College, Grand Valley State University, Olivet College, and the University of Chicago. Her website is

Ben Hodson is an award-winning illustrator of nearly twenty books. He loves creating art and he also loves a good adventure, like hiking the Rocky Mountains with a team of rescued wild burros, living in a mountain village in Nepal, or drawing comics with youth in South Africa. Ben created the artwork for How the Moon Regained Her Shape using acrylic paints, handmade papers, old wallpaper, pencil crayons, gesso, and ink on watercolor paper. He illustrates full time from his home in Ottawa, Canada. Visit Ben's website.


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