The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Sun, Moon, and Stars - September 2009

Selected and annotated by Kate Quealy

Bang, Molly. My Light; written and illus. by Molly Bang. Scholastic, 2004. 34 p. 4-8 yrs.
Told from the point of view of the sun, this story illuminates the connection between light, water, wind and electricity. Bright and colorful illustrations accompany this simple text.

Cadnum, Michael. Starfall: Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun. Orchard, 2004. 124p. Gr. 5-9.
In this retelling of the myth of Phaeton, a classic legend from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, fifteen year old Phaeton seeks out the god of the sun to confirm his heritage.

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. Harcourt, 2003. 389p. Gr. 9-12.
In the Adirondacks lake country in 1906, a young Mattie Gokey must decide between her dreams of going to college to be a writer and keeping her promise to her dead mother to stay on the family farm to look after her siblings.

Florian, Douglas. Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Painting; written and illus. by Douglas Florian. Harcourt, 2007. 48 p. Gr. 3-7.
Twenty new poems pay homage to the sun, the stars, and other celestial beings in this entertaining, but still informative, picture book.

Gay, Marie-Louise. Stella, Princess of the Sky; written and illus. by Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood, 2004. 32 p. 3-7 yrs.
When the sun sets, Sam is certain the sky is on fire but his older sister Stella assures him that it is really just going to bed and spends the evening telling Sam all about the wonders of the sky.

George, Jessica Day. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. Bloomsbury , 2008. 338p. Gr. 7-12.
The classic folktale "East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon" is retold here featuring a nameless lass who leaves her impoverished home with a magical bear and is forced to travel the world to destroy a curse.

Henkes, Kevin. Kitten’s First Full Moon; written and illus. by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, 2004. 32p. 2-5 yrs
In this gentle picture book, a kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk but her efforts to reach it yield only a tired and wet kitty. Simple language, repetition, and masterful illustrations make this a storytime must.

Jenkins, Alvin. Next Stop Neptune: Experiencing the Solar System; illus. by Steve Jenkins. Houghton, 2004. 40p. Gr. 3-7. Beginning with the creation of a star, former astonomer Alvin Jenkins takes the reader on a journey through the solar system with close looks at planets, asteroids, and moons.

McNulty, Faith. If You Decide to Go to the Moon; illus. by Steven Kellogg. Scholastic, 2005. 40p. 4-8 yrs.
If you or your little one are thinking about going to the moon, the young narrator of this book has a few things to share, including how to prepare for the trip, what food to bring, and most importantly, how to get home.

Mills, Claudia. How Oliver Olsen Changed the World; illus. by Heather Maione. Farrar, 2009. 112p. Gr. 2-4.
When he is assigned to make a model of the solar system, Oliver Olsen must overcome the attempts of his well meaning parents and make sure this assignment is his own.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life as We Knew It. Harcourt, 2006. 337p. Gr. 6-9.

--- The Dead and the Gone. Harcourt, 2008. 321p. Gr. 6-9.
These two books chronicle the lives of two very different teenagers as they struggle to survive tsunamis, floods, and famine after the moon is struck by a meteor.

Reeve, Philip. Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Furthest Reaches of Space. Bloomsbury , 2006. 399p. Gr. 5-8.
In an alternate Victorian England, Art Mumby must save his family from mutant white spiders, travel across the universe, and ultimately save the human race.

Scott, Elaine. When is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto. Clarion, 2007. 44 p. Gr. 3-6.
This insightful examination of the new and improved solar system provides a nice overview of how science works, how and why scientific knowledge changes, along with a comprehensive look at planets and former planets.

Thinmesh, Catherine. Team Moon: How 40,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. Houghton, 2006. 80p. Gr. 4-8.
Armstrong and Aldin may have been the first people to walk on the moon, getting there in the first place required an entire collection of engineers, contractors, computer geniuses, and even seamstresses. Official NASA photos and transcripts, along with chapter and source notes, make this nonfiction piece a must read for moon enthusiasts.

Wood, Nancy. Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen; illus. by Timothy Basil Ering. Candlewick, 2006. 32p. 5-8 yrs
In this nontraditional take on the origins of the world, Mr. and Mrs. God take turns creating the cosmos and its accompanying creatures in a kitchen "big enough to roast a star."