Cover image for When the moon is full : a lunar year
When the moon is full : a lunar year
Pollock, Penny.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
Subtitle from cover.
Reading Level:
AD 490 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 73262.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.9 2 Quiz: 27328 Guided reading level: M.
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



This lunar guide describes the folkloric names of twelve moons according to Native American tradition & showcases their defining characteristics in short verse & beautifully detailed hand-colored woodcuts.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. To the Native Americans who used the full moon to help them keep track of time, there was no such thing as January. Instead there was the wolf moon, because wolves, they believed, became restless in January. Every month had a special moon name, chosen to reflect a characteristic specific to that month. Pollock uses these traditional moon names, and the beliefs and customs that inspired them, as the basis for her original poetry. The text comprises the name of the month, in bold type, and the moon name immediately beneath it; Pollock's poem; and a short sentence or two explaining the moon name. All of this is set against a gorgeous woodcut print, in Caldecott Medal winner Azarian's distinctive style, produced on a nineteenth-century hand press and hand colored. The sturdy pictures provide just the right look for the nature-themed poems. The final spread asks and answers 20 questions about the moon, three of which consider its connection to Native American culture. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Azarian's (Snowflake Bentley) hand-painted woodcut prints provide evocative, haunting nature scenes for Pollock's (The Turkey Girl) eloquent poems in honor of each month's full moon. Each new spread reveals a spectacular nighttime vista; readers may well turn the pages as they would a calendar, pausing over the beauty of one scene, anticipating the next. Snow in February yields to sap buckets in March; raccoons feast on corn under the August moon while squirrels gather acorns on September nights. The poems vary in rhythm and mood, and are often arresting in their simplicity: "Lilies of the valley/ ring each silent bell/ when May's bright moon/ lightens up the dell"; in July, "Young bucks/ in the hayfield,/ antlers held aloft./ Moonbeams slanting down,/ show them velvet soft." Traditional Native American names for the moon serve as the poems' titles (January is the "The Wolf Moon") and a simple explanation follows: "Native Americans believed that wolves became restless in January." A concluding question-and-answer page provides additional information about the moon. This lovely volume will likely charm readers and inspire them to linger a bit longer under the night-time sky. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-This delicate collection of poems offers a beautifully illustrated look at a year's worth of full moons. The Native American name for each moon is given, along with brief facts about it. An interesting question-and-answer section offers a variety of information about the moon itself, common misconceptions, and the truth about blue moons. Short and simple selections convey a variety of moods. For example, June is home to the strawberry moon, when "We feast all night/in moon's spotlight/forgetting all our foes,/tramping on the berries/that squish between our toes." The accompanying picture features three gleeful bears frolicking in the warm moon glow of a strawberry patch. Azarian's woodcuts are bathed in soothing blues, greens, and buttery yellows that entice readers to view this book outside under the moon's shadowy embrace.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.