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Books For Grandchildren: How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Grades 1-5)

how the moon regained her shape

How the Moon Regained Her Shape by Janet Ruth Heller

How the Moon Regained Her Shape is a beautifully illustrated fiction book for elementary school age children. The author, Janet Ruth Heller, was badly bullied as a student at a new school. When she grew up, she wrote this book to help children deal with bullies. As part of her story, influenced by Native American Folktales, she explains why the moon changes shape.

The sun insults the moon, who in turn feels so badly that she shrinks and leaves the sky. For comfort, she turns to her comet friend and other friends on earth such as rabbits and Native Americans. With their help, the moon regains her full shape, happiness and self-esteem, and then returns to her orbit.

What children will learn from this book

This wonderful little book teaches some important lessons. For example,

1) that children need to tell friends and adults when bullying occurs
2) that a bully’s insults are rarely true
3) that children will recover from abuse
4) that we can be friends with people who are different from us.
In addition, children will find an educational appendix in the book that provides sound advice about bullying, as well as scientific information about the moon. The book also shares  ideas for related activities for children. 

What adults will learn from this book

Abuse thrives in secrecy, and most kids feel intimidated by bullying. Adults need to understand children need help to stop the bullying behavior and to recover from the loss of trust and self-esteem often caused by bullying.

Accolades for How the Moon Regained Her Shape

How the Moon Regained Her Shape won four national awards for its lyrical writing and its wonderful artwork. Illustrator Ben Hodson won a Benjamin Franklin Award for this book’s artwork in 2007. How the Moon Regained Her Shape also won a Book Sense Pick (2006), a Children’s Choices award (2007), and a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards (2007).  The book was also a finalist for the Oregon Reading Association’s 2009 Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award.

About the author

Janet Ruth Heller, Ph.D. is a poet, literary critic, college professor, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer. Currently, she is president of the Michigan College English Association. She often gives talks for schools, libraries and bookstores about bullying.  Learn more about Janet on her website.

How the Moon Regained Her Shape


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important lessons


2 thoughts on “Books For Grandchildren: How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Grades 1-5)

  1. Thank you very much for reviewing my fiction picture book for children, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006; 6th edition 2018). Many children have told me that they identify with the moon in this award-winning story about dealing with bullying. Best wishes for the holiday season!

    Janet Ruth Heller
    Author of the poetry books Exodus (WordTech Editions, 2014), Folk Concert: Changing Times (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012) and Traffic Stop (Finishing Line Press, 2011), the scholarly book Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama (University of Missouri Press, 1990), the middle-grade chapter book for kids The Passover Surprise (Fictive Press, 2015, 2016), and the award-winning picture book for kids about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006; sixth edition 2018). My new book of nature poems, Nature’s Olympics, just got published by Wipf and Stock (November 2021).

    My website is

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