Cover image for The Moon and Riddles Diner and the Sunnyside Cafe
The Moon and Riddles Diner and the Sunnyside Cafe
Willard, Nancy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A light-hearted collection of poems about Shoofly Sally and her Everything Dog, who meet an unusual cast of characters at an odd restaurant called The Moon & Riddles Diner and the Sunnyside Cafě.
Reading Level:
AD 570 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 48083.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 3 Quiz: 24643 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3573.I444 M66 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Strange and wonderful things happen at the Moon & Riddles Diner and the Sunnyside Café. That's why Shoofly Sally and her Everything Dog set out for the diner's silver door. It's a place where a spoon and a teapot read menus at the counter. A place where a frog and a bear and a buffalo cook pancakes on the stove. A place where the Queen of Chickens reigns supreme.
In the spirit of her Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, Nancy Willard chronicles the fantastic adventures of a wonderfully unexpected cast of characters.
Includes recipes for fourteen fun and tasty snacks that kids can make themselves!

Author Notes

Nancy Willard was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 26, 1936. She received a bachelor's degree in 1958 and a Ph.D in 1963 from the University of Michigan and a master's degree from Stanford University. She taught at Vassar College in the English department from 1965 until 2012. She published more than 70 books during her lifetime including collections of poetry, children's books, collections of short stories, novels, essays, and criticism. In 1982, she received the Newbery Medal for A Visit to William Blake's Inn. She died from natural causes on February 19, 2017 at the age of 80.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. When the moon and the sun open their own cosmic cafes, emerald antelopes sing, teapots croon the blues, and the specialties are tornado brew and starlight stew. Shoofly Sally and her dog, Everything, hurtle through this outrageous world in poems that are sophisticated but still preschool appropriate. Here, rich metaphors combine with the delicious nonsense of Mother Goose and the frank words and infectious rhythm of folk music and blues. Written mostly in the voices of the animals and objects that Sally meets, the poems collectively form a dream rather than a story, linked by odd character vignettes and a vague, enchanted sense of place. But children won't need to grasp the concrete to delight in the magical voyage and playful language, which is nicely imagined in Chris Butler's appealing cut-paper collages, similar to David Wisnewski's work but with more subtle coloring. Recipes linked to the poems conclude this vivid, fantastical collection. --Gillian EngbergRBBAnother look at . . .Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Online

Publisher's Weekly Review

This airy but underdone collection has more style than substance. Willard's (The Tale I Told Sasha) prose preface introduces Shoofly Sally and the denizens of the eponymous establishment where "those who aren't eating are cooking. Those who aren't cooking are hooting and hollering. Everybody is dancing." The characters, animate and inanimate, tell their stories in rhymes and ballads. While the repetition of phrases and recurring characters hint at an overall theme, various motifs are never resolved. And while the fanciful similes are often apt (the teapot's crooning sounds "like the morning fog"), the language sometimes seems chosen more for sound or whimsy than for sense. The ample humor (in such notions as a cracked teapot that sings the blues and such puns as the Stubborn Stove's burners that play "Home on the Range") is dissipated by the arbitrary appearance and disappearance of the themes and characters. Newcomer Butler's striking illustrations, made by photographing layered, cut-paper sculptures, have the intricacy of David Wisniewski's work plus robust dimensionality. But the meticulously wrought figures lack personality; in general, the illustrations seem to focus on image and design at the expense of clarifying the text. Like a riddle without an answer, the art and text ultimately disappoint. Eight pages of recipes are appended. Ages 6-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-In this collection of poems about Shoofly Sally and her experiences at an unusual restaurant, it is as if the wordplay of Edward Lear marries the mystical New Age otherworldliness of Shirley MacLaine. While that's an interesting juxtaposition, other elements combine to create an ultimately disjointed product. An introductory story describes how a child discovers a postcard with a picture of the diner and caf‚; on the back is a message from Sally. The Mother Goose verse "Sally Go Round the Sun" appears on the next page. Willard then launches into an assortment of poems, starting with a selection about Sally's affection for and adventures related to the diner. With some of the poems, it is hard to discern the thematic connection. Several are told in the first person, while others are relayed from an omniscient viewpoint. A variety of forms is used, from a ballad to a limerick to the blues. Fourteen related recipes appear at the end. While the poems can be enjoyed individually-and Butler's paper sculptures offer marvelously textured images on which to feast the eye-it is tedious to attempt reading this book in one sitting. The jumble of forms and viewpoints hampers the flow. The story line is secondary to the art and suffers as a result.-Wendy Lukehart, Harrisburg School District, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.