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How the Moon Regained Her Shape Review by Christy Sensenig

By Janet Ruth Heller
Illustrated by Ben Hodson
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Suite 3
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

How the Moon Regained Her Shape is a children's story influenced by Native American folklore. The 32-page story is a creative way of teaching children about the sun, the moon, feelings, and overcoming harsh words that are spoken. It attempts to teach the phases of the moon while also teaching how to overcome bullying and build self-confidence. Following the story, you will find pages of interesting facts about the moon, Native American names for full moons, and fun projects that correlate with the story.

The story is intended for ages 6 to 10 and can be used in any educational setting. The hardback book sells for $15.95, and the paperback sells for $8.95. It was selected by the Society of Illustrators 2006 The Original Art Exhibition and was a Book Sense Summer 2006 Children's Pick. Additional "Learning Links" and "Teaching Activities" can be found on Sylvan Dell Publishing's website. Colorful, detailed illustrations and an engaging and expressive story line make it possible for every learner to enjoy this product.

Having an interest in the Native American culture, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was an engaging and fun read. I also enjoyed the illustrations on each page. The different patterns, shapes, and figures represented the Native American culture well.

The message may be offensive to some people. Native American folklore can be associated with the "New Age" movement. (At one place in the story, a group of women are holding hands and singing to "sister moon.") On the other hand, if you are able to filter out this aspect of the story and see the main point presented, which is to overcome obstacles, then this story may not be offensive to you.

Overall, I would recommend this story. It is one of seeing yourself as who you were created to be. It could be a great springboard for discussion on different cultures and beliefs, how to gain confidence, and how to see ourselves through the eyes of God.

Product review by Christy Sensenig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007