Many Moons


Many Moons

James Thurber, author

Louis Slobodkin, ill.

New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1943

45 pp

age 3+

Interests: fairy tales, princess, castles, moon

The princess Lenore has fallen ill (from too many raspberry tarts) and claims she will only get well again if someone can give her the moon. The king summons all his wise men, who claim it is too far away and too big. Only his jester knows what to do – he asks the princess how far away and how big it is. Finding out it is only the size of her thumbnail, he has a gold moon made for her to wear around her neck. Lenore is delighted, and suddenly feels well enough to get up and play. The next evening, when the moon rises again, the king despairs of keeping up the pretense. Fortunately the princess Lenore has her own explanation for the phenomenon. A new moon has grown to replace the old one!

A modern fairy tale, that is to say modern in style but traditional in setting. The princess has the answer to the problem that the wise men cannot solve. An interesting story of relative truths – the jester says that everyone’s varying claims of what the moon is proves that the moon is different for every person. Therefore the princess’ version of what the moon is (tiny and made of gold), is just as valid as everyone else’s. It may prove to be a bit of a challenge for younger children to follow the lines of logic – but they should find tremendous satisfaction in doing so.

The illustrations are loose and squiggly, depicting all the quirkiness and life in the characters.

(This title at


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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