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Music for Mister Moon

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What if you threw your teacup out your window...and what if it accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky? A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in frustration. Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moo What if you threw your teacup out your window...and what if it accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky? A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in frustration. Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moon become fast friends. Worried that he'll catch a chill, Harriet buys the moon a soft woolen hat, then takes him on a boat ride across a glistening lake, something he's only dreamed of. But can she work up the courage to play her music for the moon?


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What if you threw your teacup out your window...and what if it accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky? A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in frustration. Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moo What if you threw your teacup out your window...and what if it accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky? A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in frustration. Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moon become fast friends. Worried that he'll catch a chill, Harriet buys the moon a soft woolen hat, then takes him on a boat ride across a glistening lake, something he's only dreamed of. But can she work up the courage to play her music for the moon?

30 review for Music for Mister Moon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    Wow! The artwork is very unique. It is soft and fuzzy and has just a little bit of an isolation feel to it. The colors are minimal and it looks like pencil drawings on top of crayons or something. It says oil and pencil. We meet Harriet Henry who plays the cello. She also has a wonderful imagination. Her parents ask her if she is excited to grow up and play in an orchestra and the thought of all those people scare her. She imagines herself all alone so she can play for herself. She doesn’t like Wow! The artwork is very unique. It is soft and fuzzy and has just a little bit of an isolation feel to it. The colors are minimal and it looks like pencil drawings on top of crayons or something. It says oil and pencil. We meet Harriet Henry who plays the cello. She also has a wonderful imagination. Her parents ask her if she is excited to grow up and play in an orchestra and the thought of all those people scare her. She imagines herself all alone so she can play for herself. She doesn’t like playing in front of people. Then the moon gets caught in her chimney and she has to help it get back in the sky so she can play for the moon. It’s an interesting little story. The artwork is a 5 star, but the story is a 4 star story in my opinion. I can see this winning a Caldecott Honor this year. The nephew thought it was funny that Harriet called herself Hank. Why? I didn’t know. It was odd. He liked seeing the moon, the bear and the walrus. He thought this was a weird story and that’s why he liked the story. It really is like a dream. The nephew gave this 4 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Hey, kids! Want to experience a sedate LSD trip illustrated by a depressed woodblock? Has happiness squeezed itself out of your soul and into a teacup that you then hurl at nocturnal birds who've done you little harm? Do you wish the moon weren't so friggin' chipper and maybe had sadsack eyes marked by millennia of insomnia? Does the idea of an unsupervised boat ride across a Lake of Isolation and Reckless Sorrow make your heart sing? Wouldn't parents be cooler (ha!) if they were penguins? Do you just Hey, kids! Want to experience a sedate LSD trip illustrated by a depressed woodblock? Has happiness squeezed itself out of your soul and into a teacup that you then hurl at nocturnal birds who've done you little harm? Do you wish the moon weren't so friggin' chipper and maybe had sadsack eyes marked by millennia of insomnia? Does the idea of an unsupervised boat ride across a Lake of Isolation and Reckless Sorrow make your heart sing? Wouldn't parents be cooler (ha!) if they were penguins? Do you just want some peace and goddamned quiet? You're in luck: the Steads have written and illustrated a book just for you. How wonderful. Really. How wonderful!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Phillip Stead's books never follow a logical predictability to them, but are always delightfully quirky and have a dignified absurdity to them. This book is no different. Phillip Stead's books never follow a logical predictability to them, but are always delightfully quirky and have a dignified absurdity to them. This book is no different.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Destinee Sutton

    This is like Where the Wild Things Are if Max was a shy musician who just wanted to be alone. It's thematically similar: imagination, a journey, rejection, acceptance. But of course it's also got that signature Stead quirkiness that makes it either super lovable or just plain strange depending on your taste. The art is exquisite -- I always love Erin Stead's illustrations. The text meanders in a way that works better the more times you read it. For example, when the room fills up with smoke, I w This is like Where the Wild Things Are if Max was a shy musician who just wanted to be alone. It's thematically similar: imagination, a journey, rejection, acceptance. But of course it's also got that signature Stead quirkiness that makes it either super lovable or just plain strange depending on your taste. The art is exquisite -- I always love Erin Stead's illustrations. The text meanders in a way that works better the more times you read it. For example, when the room fills up with smoke, I was like what? Only on a second read did I put it together that the moon was blocking up her chimney. And that the whole thing is in her imagination anyway. Her stuffed animals are a walrus and a bear who turn into the hat-maker and the fisherman. I like books that feel unique and classic at the same time and this book does that for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    This is the Stead-iest book yet. I read it with a furrowed brow throughout and I would not recommend it to *anyone*. And yet, it might be their masterpiece.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Harriet Henry only wants to play her cello for herself. When she throws her teacup to shoo away an owl and accidentally knocks the moon from the sky, Harriet unexpectedly finds an audience for her music. This is exactly what I love in a children's book. I love a character who can easily turn her troublesome parents into penguins and can change her mind about performing when she makes a friend. Lovely, lovely illustrations and delightful text. Harriet Henry only wants to play her cello for herself. When she throws her teacup to shoo away an owl and accidentally knocks the moon from the sky, Harriet unexpectedly finds an audience for her music. This is exactly what I love in a children's book. I love a character who can easily turn her troublesome parents into penguins and can change her mind about performing when she makes a friend. Lovely, lovely illustrations and delightful text.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bookish

    Artwork is impressive, which we've grown to expect from this talented pair. An interesting take on parental expectations, and the pressure children feel to meet them. The child's dissociation / coping strategy (of imagining parents as penguins) is certainly an option, but the fact that she never has the confrontation with parents may be harder for some readers -- there's no happy ending here. Also: It’s quite long. I'm not sure who is the audience -- it looks like a picture book, but is awfully Artwork is impressive, which we've grown to expect from this talented pair. An interesting take on parental expectations, and the pressure children feel to meet them. The child's dissociation / coping strategy (of imagining parents as penguins) is certainly an option, but the fact that she never has the confrontation with parents may be harder for some readers -- there's no happy ending here. Also: It’s quite long. I'm not sure who is the audience -- it looks like a picture book, but is awfully deep for young readers (again, typical for this pair of creators).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 Stars Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead have become one of my favorite picture book teams to follow. Mr. Stead’s astute words loop arms with Ms. Stead’s soft, sweet pictures perfectly. That said…. I didn’t love Music for Mister Moon. I enjoyed walking alongside Harriet and the moon, but their story didn’t charm me as much as I'd hoped. The Stead elements are all there--like the warm messages and soft, delicate art. But so was the melancholy. These pages felt lonely. And that feeling really ove 3.5 Stars Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead have become one of my favorite picture book teams to follow. Mr. Stead’s astute words loop arms with Ms. Stead’s soft, sweet pictures perfectly. That said…. I didn’t love Music for Mister Moon. I enjoyed walking alongside Harriet and the moon, but their story didn’t charm me as much as I'd hoped. The Stead elements are all there--like the warm messages and soft, delicate art. But so was the melancholy. These pages felt lonely. And that feeling really overpowered the magic in this story for me. I do have to point out one wonder here though. Check out the back cover. The Steads are like no other when it comes to utilizing the entire book. They truly know how to use it all! From covers to dedication to page after page. This book reveals something right at the end for readers to ponder. Don’t miss it! Hope you pick this one up and see what this author/artist team has to say about the moon, music, fear, and kindness. Please let me know what you think. I’ll re-visit this one later for sure. Sometimes their stories transform when I’m not looking. Or maybe it’s me that changes when I’m not looking? :D Pick this one up at your local Library.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Bateman

    In this soft and sweet story Harriet Henry, or "Hank" loves to play her cello, but not for an audience. Indeed, she prefers the quiet of her own room where she can be totally herself, and create her own world. However, when the moon gets stuck in her chimney she must extend herself a bit to help him. This is a gentle story with lyrical language and soft muted illustrations that aptly suit the text. The story can be understood on many levels, and should be a balm for introverted children who do n In this soft and sweet story Harriet Henry, or "Hank" loves to play her cello, but not for an audience. Indeed, she prefers the quiet of her own room where she can be totally herself, and create her own world. However, when the moon gets stuck in her chimney she must extend herself a bit to help him. This is a gentle story with lyrical language and soft muted illustrations that aptly suit the text. The story can be understood on many levels, and should be a balm for introverted children who do not wish to display before others, but do not mind a friend or two.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I love this weird and melancholy book so much and it is a true rarity in 2019 picture book world where the illustrations are loud and bright and the text is silly and rote. Don't get me wrong, I love those books and I love sharing them with kids, but I think this book brings something different to the table and will resonate with kids, especially those that are shy or have social anxiety. I love this weird and melancholy book so much and it is a true rarity in 2019 picture book world where the illustrations are loud and bright and the text is silly and rote. Don't get me wrong, I love those books and I love sharing them with kids, but I think this book brings something different to the table and will resonate with kids, especially those that are shy or have social anxiety.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia

    Another beautiful book from the Steads about shyness and exploring what you love in the comfort of your own space, and not to the masses.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Wow! Like visiting the world of dreams. Thoughtful, surreal, wonderfully illustrated with a classic feel. A true gem on the shelves!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    This story is full of imagination and feels as though the main character (Harriet) is perhaps having a dream. She clearly has stage fright, so when her parents mention her playing her cello in a big orchestra one day, she retreats to her room — which becomes a small house. She begins creating everything from her imagination at that point, including a short trip around town with Mister Moon to help him fulfill his deepest wishes. The illustrations are all very soft with mostly blues, greens, and This story is full of imagination and feels as though the main character (Harriet) is perhaps having a dream. She clearly has stage fright, so when her parents mention her playing her cello in a big orchestra one day, she retreats to her room — which becomes a small house. She begins creating everything from her imagination at that point, including a short trip around town with Mister Moon to help him fulfill his deepest wishes. The illustrations are all very soft with mostly blues, greens, and a splash of yellow. The artwork was made with mono printed oil inks, colored pencils, and graphite. For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Middlestead

    I adore the Stead’s illustrations, but this story was not as endearing as their others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Juju Andalon

    A simple but sweet story with a unique and lovely illustration style. The story and artwork are not overt in style or message, but are conveyed just the same through a soft blend of realism and quirky.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Not all children or adults are extroverts or want to be the star of the show. Complemented by beautiful wispy illustrations created with mono printed oil inks, colored pencils, and graphite, this picture book tells the story of a young girl cellist named Harriet Henry who prefers to make music for herself and not an audience, whether it is large or small. Harriet savors her solitude, and when her playing is interrupted by an owl, she becomes increasingly annoyed. In anger, she throws a teacup at Not all children or adults are extroverts or want to be the star of the show. Complemented by beautiful wispy illustrations created with mono printed oil inks, colored pencils, and graphite, this picture book tells the story of a young girl cellist named Harriet Henry who prefers to make music for herself and not an audience, whether it is large or small. Harriet savors her solitude, and when her playing is interrupted by an owl, she becomes increasingly annoyed. In anger, she throws a teacup at the owl, but knocks the moon from the sky when she misses. She and the moon chat, and a tentative friendship forms. I liked the use of repetition in the story with phrases such as "Mister Moon chose the striped hat" (unpaged) and the tender dialogue between Harriet, who tells Mister Moon she wants to be called Hank, and Mister Moon and the other animals she encounters on this night. Not only does she find him a hat and give him a boat ride, but she also enlists the help of the owls in taking him back to the sky where she decides to serenade him. I'm not completely sure that I understand everything about the story, including Harriet's wish to be called Hank, but I did appreciate the message about solitude and introverts and being true to oneself and the way this unusual friendship unfolds. As with lyrics and poems that just make readers and listeners feel but leave them unable to express exactly how they feel or why, this picture book tickles away at readers' hearts and minds long after the book has been closed. I'm still thinking about it even now. One aspect that particularly spoke to me was how Harriet isn't afraid of performing in front of others; she simply doesn't want to.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    A collaboration between the Steads is always reason for joy. This picture book explores the imagination of Hank, a young cellist who simply wants to play all alone. When her parents suggest that she play in public, she doesn’t think that sounds good at all. So she imagines them as penguins and heads for her room which she imagines is an isolated warm room. But just as she starts to play, an owl hoots outside. Hank eventually tosses a teacup at the owl but then her cozy home starts to fill with s A collaboration between the Steads is always reason for joy. This picture book explores the imagination of Hank, a young cellist who simply wants to play all alone. When her parents suggest that she play in public, she doesn’t think that sounds good at all. So she imagines them as penguins and heads for her room which she imagines is an isolated warm room. But just as she starts to play, an owl hoots outside. Hank eventually tosses a teacup at the owl but then her cozy home starts to fill with smoke. She discovers that the moon has been hit by her teacup and fallen down to sit atop her chimney. Together, Hank and moon have a series of adventures from buying the moon a warm hat to taking a boat ride. Will Hank play her music for the moon? And how will the moon return to the sky again? This story is intensely whimsical and lovely. From the very first page, the tone is set and readers will realize they are in a different world. This is partly because of the lightness and ethereal beauty of the illustrations. Filled with chalky color, their fine lines show a world populated with animals, coziness and quiet. The writing is equally delicate, moving through the tale and inviting readers to linger a while and hear the cello music too. Hank is an intriguing character, a girl who loves music but not performing. She is also a girl with an intense imagination, creating teacups and flinging them high enough to tap the moon. She allows her emotions to become items she places around her, and so the journey with the moon becomes all the more beautiful. A bedtime story that is beautiful, moonlit and filled with music. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Harriet Henry wants to play her cello, but not for anyone, just for herself. So, when an owl outside her window interrupts with its hooting she throws a teacup at it, knocking the moon from the sky. The moon is friendly, and the two of them visit places in the town the moon would like to experience. I'm sure there's a message or a meaning I'm not seeing - it's a bit absurd and unpredictable, however, it's also sweet and charming. The illustrations are soft like a dream, and the story is too. Visi Harriet Henry wants to play her cello, but not for anyone, just for herself. So, when an owl outside her window interrupts with its hooting she throws a teacup at it, knocking the moon from the sky. The moon is friendly, and the two of them visit places in the town the moon would like to experience. I'm sure there's a message or a meaning I'm not seeing - it's a bit absurd and unpredictable, however, it's also sweet and charming. The illustrations are soft like a dream, and the story is too. Visit http://kissthebook.blogspot.com for more reviews

  19. 4 out of 5

    CassattintheHat

    Illustrations and soft coloring are very beautiful. I try to keep an eye out for books about children playing music (for gifts.) Harriet likes playing cello but her well-meaning parents talk about playing for the orchestra one day and this frustrates her. An owl outside the window of her room sends her over the edge. An errantly thrown teacup causes unforeseen problems that she must correct. But in the process she makes a new friend she might want to play music for.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tracie

    Young Harriet loves to play the cello, but hates having an audience. When an owl disturbs her solitary practice, Harriet angrily hurls a teacup out the window--and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky. Can Harriet find the courage to make amends? Lovely illustrations in a dreamy, muted palette complement this thoughtful story that gracefully touches upon anger management and atonement.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Music for Mister Moon by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead. PICTURE BOOK. Holiday House, 2019. $19. 9780823441600 BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE A young girl only wants to play her instrument alone and not in front of others, so when an owl interrupts her she gets frustrated and throws her tea cup out the window. Her cup hits the moon and the moon gets stuck above her house. Harriet, who also goes by hank, helps the moon enjoy his time on earth and helps Music for Mister Moon by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead. PICTURE BOOK. Holiday House, 2019. $19. 9780823441600 BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE A young girl only wants to play her instrument alone and not in front of others, so when an owl interrupts her she gets frustrated and throws her tea cup out the window. Her cup hits the moon and the moon gets stuck above her house. Harriet, who also goes by hank, helps the moon enjoy his time on earth and helps him return to the sky. I love the magical realism of this book. The book starts with Harriet turning her parents into penguins, setting the tone for a gently absurd story with real emotions, but magical events. This might be a little disorienting for young readers, but they will hopefully also be delighted by it. Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher https://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com/20...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    I've come to realize that I adore books like this: inventive adventures with little to no explanation. Life is so magical and free of restrictions when you're a child; books that reflect that are lovely. Erin E. Stead's illustrations are fantastic as always, and the story feels like a fable. Love it! I've come to realize that I adore books like this: inventive adventures with little to no explanation. Life is so magical and free of restrictions when you're a child; books that reflect that are lovely. Erin E. Stead's illustrations are fantastic as always, and the story feels like a fable. Love it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I adore Philip and Erin Stead's books and I love moon stories. Young girl Harriet (Call me Hank.) longs to play her cello alone in her room. A noisy owl disrupts her playing and she throws her teacup out the window, accidentally knocking the moon out of the sky. What happens next, shown in dreamy illustrations by Erin Stead, feels like a dream, too. Harriet buys the moon a hat from the bear hatmaker (it's chilly) and takes him on a boat rented from a walrus fisherman across a lake (a long-time I adore Philip and Erin Stead's books and I love moon stories. Young girl Harriet (Call me Hank.) longs to play her cello alone in her room. A noisy owl disrupts her playing and she throws her teacup out the window, accidentally knocking the moon out of the sky. What happens next, shown in dreamy illustrations by Erin Stead, feels like a dream, too. Harriet buys the moon a hat from the bear hatmaker (it's chilly) and takes him on a boat rented from a walrus fisherman across a lake (a long-time wish). She makes amends with the owl and enlists him to gather other owls to help return the moon to where he belongs. The final challenge, to play for an audience, the moon. This Music for Mister Moon glows in its beautiful story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    This book looks and feels like a classic in the making. It's about having a specific type of talent that can be sometimes isolating - Harriet Henry can play the cello so well they want her to be in an orchestra, the moon provides so much for so many, but he sits alone in the sky. The two find each other when they need each other the most to help one another understand that their talents shouldn't isolate them from the world - but the effects they have can help it ( and maybe even themselves ). Go This book looks and feels like a classic in the making. It's about having a specific type of talent that can be sometimes isolating - Harriet Henry can play the cello so well they want her to be in an orchestra, the moon provides so much for so many, but he sits alone in the sky. The two find each other when they need each other the most to help one another understand that their talents shouldn't isolate them from the world - but the effects they have can help it ( and maybe even themselves ). Good, dream-like illustrations and a story that is not overbearing in its message enough that children can determine what it means for themselves and they wouldn't be wrong. Well done.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    There’s something missing in more than one place in the telling of this story that leaves the reader confused. You’d turn the page and start reading only to flip back to check and see if you had accidentally turned 2 pages. Nope, you really hadn’t missed a page and yep, the story actually had oddly dropped off. I even wondered momentarily if the book had been bound together out of order. The illustrations, especially Mister Moon, the hat maker (bear), and the fisherman (walrus), were really ador There’s something missing in more than one place in the telling of this story that leaves the reader confused. You’d turn the page and start reading only to flip back to check and see if you had accidentally turned 2 pages. Nope, you really hadn’t missed a page and yep, the story actually had oddly dropped off. I even wondered momentarily if the book had been bound together out of order. The illustrations, especially Mister Moon, the hat maker (bear), and the fisherman (walrus), were really adorable. It’s unfortunate that the story didn’t meet the same quality.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Davidson

    Harriet wanted only to play her cello alone. One night she accidentally knocked the moon out of the sky when she was trying to quiet an owl. After a nice evening together, Mister Moon asked her to play for him. Soft and lovely illustrations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Muted colors, pencil sketches, woodcuts (absolutely exquisite art!) and a quirky, perfect, imaginative story. Must be the Steads! Just the right mixture of melancholy and sweetness. A. A. Milne's original Pooh stories come to mind. Reminds me of my daughter who enjoyed playing piano but hated recitals. Or playing for anyone, really. Wish this story had been around 15 years ago, she would have appreciated it, for sure. Muted colors, pencil sketches, woodcuts (absolutely exquisite art!) and a quirky, perfect, imaginative story. Must be the Steads! Just the right mixture of melancholy and sweetness. A. A. Milne's original Pooh stories come to mind. Reminds me of my daughter who enjoyed playing piano but hated recitals. Or playing for anyone, really. Wish this story had been around 15 years ago, she would have appreciated it, for sure.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Read for Mock Caldecott Awards voting. What a wonderfully, beautiful book. The illustrations are simple sketches with just a hint of coloration. The story is sweet. A young girl who is wanting to play her cello alone throws her teacup at an owl who is hooting outside her window. In the process she knocks the moon out of the sky. The story tells her attempts to make up with the moon and return him to his rightful place in the sky. What a great bedtime story!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Although I love Philip Stead and Erin Stead, I found this book lacking something. It didn't have the "magic" their books usually contain. I love the bear hatmaker and walrus fisherman! Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of this book and found it slightly boring, and the ending was not my cup of tea. Although I love Philip Stead and Erin Stead, I found this book lacking something. It didn't have the "magic" their books usually contain. I love the bear hatmaker and walrus fisherman! Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of this book and found it slightly boring, and the ending was not my cup of tea.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    When Harriet "Hank" Henry, throws a tea cup at an owl, and knocks the moon from the sky, she makes it up to him by doing things with Mister Moon that he's always wanted to do. Will she grant Mister Moon's final request, and play her cello for him, even though she is nervous about playing in front of anyone? When Harriet "Hank" Henry, throws a tea cup at an owl, and knocks the moon from the sky, she makes it up to him by doing things with Mister Moon that he's always wanted to do. Will she grant Mister Moon's final request, and play her cello for him, even though she is nervous about playing in front of anyone?

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