Cover image for A cloak for the moon
A cloak for the moon
Kimmel, Eric A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A retelling of one of Rabbi Nachman's tales in which a tailor, dreaming that the moon is cold in the sky, goes in search of a special fabric with which to make it a cloak.
Reading Level:
AD 420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 46488.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.3 2 Quiz: 24388 Guided reading level: M.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


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

On Order



Haskel, the tailor, travels far and wide in search of a magical garment woven with threads of light, which perfectly fits the seemingly cold moon. This story is based on Rabbi Nachman's gifted writing for his followers.

Author Notes

Eric Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Lafayette College. He also has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Illinois.

He was an elementary school teacher and college professor before becoming a full-time writer. He has published over fifty titles, many of which have won state and national awards. His titles "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins" won the Caldecott Honor Medal, "The Chanukkah Guest" and "Gershon's Monster" won the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award and "Anansi and the Talking Melon" won the Utah Children's Choice Award.

Kimmel travels nationally and internationally visiting schools and talking about his books and telling stories.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. Taken from the tales of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, this soulful story centers on a tailor, Haskel, who loves to watch the moon and one night dreams that the moon is cold. Vowing to make a cloak of shining material that will cover her as she waxes and wanes, Haskel sets out for China to look for the cloth. Finally, he tracks it to the "roof of the world" and finds a princess who cannot be wed because her wedding dress, made of beams of light, has unraveled. Using his tailor's tools, Haskel discovers that focusing moonlight on the dress with his magnifying glass enables the thread to reweave itself. The princess rejoices, and Haskel is given a bit of the luminous thread as reward. Each night of his return journey, he makes another cloth of light; when he gets home, his dream of a cloak for the moon is fulfilled. Gouache paintings and intricate borders that echo Chinese and Persian design have an exotic richness. Impossible dreams and magical desires fulfilled by dint of persistence and unwavering belief underlie this lovely narrative. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Based on a tale attributed to the 18th-century Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, this luminously rendered story centers on a tailor named Haskel who lives in Tzafat (one of the four holy cities of Israel, long associated with Jewish mysticism). One night Haskel dreams that the moon comes to him, wishing for a cloak to keep herself warm, and Haskel vows to make her one. When he wakes up, he says, "Dream or not, I will keep my promise." Although his uncle, a master tailor, tells him to "stop chasing dreams," Haskel dedicates himself to his goal, and when he hears of a legendary garment that stretches or shrinks to fit the wearer, he sets out to find it, in a journey that takes him first to China and then across the desert to a city evocatively named The Roof of the World. Expertly pacing the story, Kimmel (previously paired with Krenina for The Magic Dreidels) embroiders his prose with graceful details, writing of "radiant satins [and] silks like colored water." The exotic trappings will lure readers, replacing Haskel's determination to keep his promise as the central theme of the work. Intermittently embellished by borders and spot art featuring delicate flower motifs, Krenina's gouache art effectively depicts the Middle and Far Eastern settings of the tale, as well as its timeless sensibility. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-According to an author's note, this story is based on the work of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a Jewish spiritual leader who died in 1811. Haskel, a tailor, spends his days sewing clothes and his nights lying on the roof watching the moon. In a dream, the moon tells him that she is cold and needs a cloak. Determined to make her a spectacular garment, he sets off to seek a special fabric that will stretch and shrink as the moon waxes and wanes. He travels to China, where he hears a rumor that leads him to a city located high in the mountains. When he arrives there, he learns that their princess cannot marry because the royal wedding dress, woven from beams of light, needs repairing and the secret of spinning light into thread has been lost. When he looks at the fabric through his magnifying glass, the moonlight focuses through it and spins itself into thread. The tailor mends the dress and takes a thread from it as a reward. From it, he makes the cloak and he and the moon now shine together in the sky. This unique, beautifully written story is enhanced by vividly colored, luminous gouache paintings of equal quality.-Anne Parker, Milton Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.