The Man in the Moon
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
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In the first book of a multibook series, find out how a round, jolly baby became the great white hope of the Milky Way—and ringleader of the Guardians of Childhood.
Up there in the sky.
Don’t you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon.
He wasn’t always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.
He was once a child.
Until a battle,
a shooting star,
and a lost balloon
sent him on a quest.
Meet the very first guardian of childhood.
MiM, the Man in the Moon.
William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also an Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives with his family in Shreveport, Lousiana.
"A fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairytale world. Dark. Mysterious. Stunning! "??--MAURICE SENDAK, Caldecott-winning creator of Where the Wild Things Are
"William Joyce, to put it simply, is a genius, and we are lucky to have another book from him. The Man in the Moon is filled with tenderness, love, and enchantment. It's an unforgettable story that will leave readers wanting more...and luckily there IS more, because The Man in the Moon is just the first in the Guardian's of Childhood series, which will, I predict, take their rightful places in the hearts of children everywhere." --BRIAN SELZNICK, author/illustrator of the Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret
"Each of William Joyce's books has been more beautifully painted, more magically imagined and more deliciously written than the one that came before. The Man in the Moon is the latest dazzling masterpiece, the one we Joyceans, young and old, have been pining for. It instantly became my children's favorite book." --MICHAEL CHABON, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
* ?eoeJoyce's (A Day with Wilbur Robinson) concoction, the inaugural offering in the Guardians of Childhood series (with films and 12 books to follow), is a rich, cinematic brew of steampunk fancies. His sumptuous spreads are crowded with rotund telescopes, Jules Verne rocket ships, and sherbet-bearing robots, all painted in a superb palette of indigo and gold. The infant Man in the Moon (named for the Moon Clipper, an extraterrestrial airship that disguises itself as a moon at night) is hidden away by his parents in order to escape the nefarious Pitch, "the King of Nightmares," renowned for "plundering planets, extinguishing stars, and scuttling every airship that crossed his path." Without his parents, but amply provided for, the acronymically nicknamed MiM grows up, round-faced and nattily dressed, orbiting Earth in the derelict clipper ("It was now just a moon"). Learning of the hopes and dreams of Earth's children, he gathers a team of fellow guardians to protect and console them. Joyce combines elemental fairyland themes--a cloistered heir, secret powers, mysterious good deeds--into a tale that's warm and fuzzy, swashbuckling, and dazzlingly inventive all at the same time.?e
- Publishers Weekly 7/4/11 *Starred Review*
* "William Joyce invents a breathtaking landscape for his history of the original guardian of childhood: the Man in the Moon. As a baby, MiM, as he is called, travels the skies in a golden-sailed Moon Clipper with his mother, father and Nightlight, a kind of fairy godfather. Each night, the vessel transforms into the Moon.
One day, Pitch, the King of Nightmares, with jet-black hair in up-floating coils as menacing as Medusa's snakes, hunts down this legendary child who has never had a bad dream. Nightlight whisks MiM away to safety, just before Pitch captures the child's parents. As Nightlight plunges his diamond dagger into Pitch's heart, an explosion results, and when MiM later reaches the Moon's surface, he sees the image of his parents etched in the stars. Their constellation offers MiM comfort, and the moon creatures rally around to educate and protect the baby.
Joyce's fans will relish the parallels with his earlier tour de force about a mythic man in a magical land, Santa Calls. Santa rides in his sleigh; MiM flies on his moth. Santa learns of children's wishes through letters; their hopes and dreams travel to MiM by helium balloons. When MiM comes up with a solution to children's nighttime fears, he recruits the Moon's minions and his team of earthling Guardians (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc.). Pitch and Nighlight's fates will be the subject of subsequent episodes, but this first adventure in the Guardians of Childhood series offers a visual feast and a complete mythology of the Man in the Moon." --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness. STARRED REVIEW.
"Joyce?e(TM)s prowess as an illustrator is undeniable, and this may well be his most ambitious, marvelous-looking title to date. Only a sure and meticulous hand could conjure up such luscious lunar moths and battling constellations."--Kirkus Reviews
"With the aura of an established classic, the first volume in Joyce?e(TM)s long-anticipated series, ?eoeThe Guardians of Childhood,?e is worth the wait. And what a brilliant concept! The hero, MiM, or the Man in the Moon, is just the first beloved figure of childhood lore to get his own tale?e"the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost are to follow. With lots of detail in its gold-flecked blues, the lavish illustration will set 6-year-old minds ticking, and though the King of Nightmares makes an appearance, this is a story primarily about sweet."--The New York Times Book Review
This gorgeously strange picture book, the first in a projected series, traces the origins of the Man in the Moon, who, after losing his parents in a battle with the King of Nightmares, is raised by a retinue of giant glowworms and mice in tasseled sailor caps. Joyce?e(TM)s shimmering images are at once adorable and otherworldly: a lunar moth bears the sleeping baby hero through space; at dinnertime, starfish swarm the sky.
--The New Yorker (12/5/12)
"Resplendent, almost glowing."--The Wall Street Journal