Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood introduced by The Man in the Moon

January 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

The Man in the Moon (The Guardians of Childhood) by William Joyce; published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing Division, New York; 2011.

Look up in the night sky.  Do you see the moon?  Did you know it wasn’t always there?  And do you see MiM?  What, you’ve never heard of MiM?  Perhaps you’ve heard him called the Man in the Moon.  In William Joyce’s picture book introduction to the Guardians of Childhood, his multimedia illustrations tell MiM’s story as eloquently as his text.  Joyce’s creativity seems boundless as his imagination soars to the night sky with detailed maps, fascinating characters, and a wild tale of good vs. evil.

I adore this book.  There is no condescension or watered-down fairy tale here.  Oh no.   As in the first chapter book in the series (Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King), there is humor and tension, dark and light.  This is a series that will have something for every member of the family.  I hope that families read the picture book together then share the chapter book together, perhaps one chapter a night.

So, as a librarian, I am happy to recommend both books to patrons.  In fact, around Christmastime, I was talking to a patron who had a preschooler and a second-grader.  She was checking out this book for the preschooler but I recommended they read it all together.  I then recommended the chapter book as bedtime story leading up to the Christmas holiday.  How embarrassing!  The chapter book is not yet in our collection.  Well, the patron returned after Christmas and said that they loved The Man in the Moon so much that they bought Nicholas St. North and put it under the tree for the second grader.  They did indeed read the chapter book together between Christmas and New Years Day and gave both books a big, unanimous thumbs up.  They’re looking forward to the next books as am I.

According to Simon & Schuster’s blog for booksellers, The Inner Sanctum, there will be seven books in both the picture book series as well as the novels.  For the sake of families reading together, I hope William Joyce can keep creating rich stories in all 14 books.  You can visit The Guardians of Childhood’s dedicated website at


Entry filed under: Folklore or Fairy Tales, Picture Book. Tags: , , , , .

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