Cover image for I know the moon
I know the moon
Anderson, Stephen Axel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 cm
When the animals cannot agree on just what the moon is, they turn to the Man of Science to settle their dispute, but they are not satisfied with the answer he gives them.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 48053.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



What is the moon? The fox knows: It is a rabbit who plays a merry game of chase in and out of the clouds. Not so, says the moth; it is a cocoon where moths of legend are born. Soon all of the night creatures are arguing, and glints of tooth and claw and angry eyes flash in the night. They turn to the Man of Science to settle their dispute, but can the truth of the moon really be found in books, rather than in the creatures' imaginations?Greg Couch reaches new levels of artistic brilliance with his lush, moonlit illustrations that bring the hidden treasures of the night to light. I Know the Moon is a deceptively simple, lyrical homage to the visionary in each of us.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Anderson's first children's book, the author compellingly likens the moon to a work of art, each onlooker bringing to it his or her own experience. Deep in the forest, a group of animals gather to discuss the moon, but cannot agree on how to define it. For the fox, it's a rabbit, "swift and large and glowing," while the moth sees a cocoon, "a place where moths of legend are born and fly like stars to light the sky." Perhaps the mouse's interpretation is most poetic: "Planted deep in night soil, it blooms as a sunflower by day and warms my back, then slips to seed again at dusk. It is a seed in endless bloom." To settle their dispute, they visit the Man of Science, who boils it down into cold, hard facts. "It takes more than words to know the moon, it must be chased and felt and seen," says the fox. Couch conjures an ethereal world with acrylic wash and colored pencil, scattering stars across the pages like spangled fairy dust and dipping his brush in the misty hues of midnight. Like the lyrical text, his illustrations deftly contrast hard-edged fact with the willowy world of imagination: the scientist's square face and wiry hair stand out in sharp relief against the lean, fluid flow of the fox and oval owl. This luscious picture book may well leave readers moonstruck. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-When the animals of the forest gather together to marvel at the full moon, they find they cannot agree on what it really is. To the fox, it is an elusive rabbit that hides behind clouds and plays a game of chase; to the owl, it's "a window, cut through the night like the hollow of a tree"; to the frog, it's a "golden lily pad that glistens in every pond and puddle." At an impasse, the animals trundle off to seek an answer from the Man of Science, a recluse who lives in a nearby observatory. He dismisses their poetic assumptions about the celestial body with cold, hard facts, telling them exactly how it's shaped and what it's made of. Dazed and disappointed, the creatures return to the forest, struggling with their new knowledge. In the end, they conclude that regardless of the moon's "real" properties, their varied perceptions of it remain perfectly valid. Anderson's mesmerizing, rhythmic text has a lovely cadence for a nighttime tale. The story analyzes the nature of knowledge and ultimately concludes that truth is not necessarily beauty, nor is beauty always contingent upon the truth. Couch's acrylic-wash and colored-pencil illustrations are deep and dense. Both text and art work together beautifully to impart a simple truth about what wisdom really is.-Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.