Cover image for By the light of the captured moon
By the light of the captured moon
Scheer, Julian.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
The night before school starts, Billy tries to hold onto the fun he and his friends have been having by capturing the last full moon of summer and trying to hide it in his bedroom.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 46494.
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
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Seasonal

On Order



It's already late August, but Billy Whee isn't nearly ready for the summer to end. He'd do almost anything for a few more summer evenings catching fireflies with his friends. So as Billy lay in his bed, gazing up at the last full moon of the season, he has a crazy idea. What if he could capture the moon and keep it as his prisoner? Could he bring out a full moon whenever he wanted one? Billy can't believe what happens next, as he reaches out his window, firmly grabs hold of the moon, and begins to pull. These impossible happenings bring hilarious and improbable results in this eloquently written story about a boy's dreams and secrets.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. The author of the classic Rain Makes Applesauce limns a dreamy story out of memory and lightning bugs. Billy and his friends gather in the late August dusk, one of the last times to catch lightning bugs before the start of school. The full moon glows on their playful task, but then it is bedtime. Billy gazes at the moon from his bed: if he could capture it, he could have a night like this any time he wants. So he pulls the big round moon into his room. After his mom sees the light beneath his door, Billy tries to hide the moon in his closet, under his bed, until he realizes he has to let it go. It falls out his window tracing a path to wonder at in the morning. The images are watercolor and gouache over pencil; they show bugs glowing in the night and the moon illuminating Billy's homespun boy's room with the silvery light of hope and imagination. A grand story that honors one summer and "the next summer and the summer after." --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite its appealing cover illustration showing children and fireflies, Scheer's (Rain Makes Applesauce) ethereal story may be more appropriate to more sophisticated picture book readers. Beginning with a diffuse, novelistic description of Billy and his friends catching lightning bugs, the book doesn't introduce a dramatic conflict until nearly halfway through, at which point 10-year-old Billy wishes he could capture the moon and "put it away and take it out" whenever he likes. Even though Billy knows "the moon [is] thousands of miles away, moving in its orbit, silently creeping westward," he stretches out his arms "farther and farther and soon they [touch] the moon√Ąthe real moon." Surprisingly, Billy manages to pull the real moon into his bedroom. But when he is unable to hide its light, he pushes the moon out the window. It rolls "over a hill and out of sight," leaving a trail that baffles his parents the next morning. The complicated syntax and occasionally overlong sentences may pose a challenge for some readers, but Himler's (The Log Cabin Quilt) watercolors are especially pleasing, conveying the luminescence of the fireflies and the moon's gleaming light as suitably magical. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-This book is consistently pleasing visually, but the writing is less successful. In an attempt to hold onto fun before school begins, Billy temporarily captures the last full moon of summer. A slow buildup and some lazy language are offset by the marvelously tactile descriptions of moon manipulation. Himler's scenes in watercolor and gouache over pencil convey the enchantment with an array of blues and variations of moon glow, as well as unusual perspectives and poses. Older readers may appreciate the symbolism of holding onto a mood, but the younger set may be confused by the stark transition from realism to the dream state.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.