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.