The Great Moon Confusion by Richard Byrne

After a visit to the Planetarium and an eclipse we had lots of questions about the moon. The Great Moon Confusion is a wonderful story which explains why it changes size.

The Great Moon Confusion - Story Snug

The Story: Aldrin thinks he knows everything but he doesn’t know the answer to Rabbit’s question about why ‘the moon isn’t so round tonight’. The two bears, Hubble and Lovell, know why but Aldrin doesn’t want to listen and sets up Moon Rescue HQ to try and find out. Meanwhile Hubble and Lovell put on helmets and receive a mysterious parcel. Time goes by, the moon gets smaller, Aldrin still can’t answer Rabbit’s question and Hubble and Lovell are busy with a secret project. Aldrin is convinced that Hubble and Lovell are stealing the moon but when they invite the animals to visit their new observatory and explain what has been happening to the moon Aldrin sees that he was wrong and apologises. However, he is able to answer Rabbit’s final question about how many stars are in the sky!

I love that a scientific concept is explained in such a fun way, Aldrin’s attempts to explain what is happening to the moon are injected with so much humour that it’s really a great way to learn. We love the illustration which explains waxing and waning and shows Aldrin, Rabbit, Woodpecker and Fox learning from the bears. Despite the fact that Aldrin is a bigheaded raccoon who likes to impress his friends with his knowledge, he is a likeable character and we find his behaviour amusing. His false accusations and initial refusal to listen to Hubble and Lovell stem from his insecurity and his need to impress but apologising for being wrong takes courage and we love him for doing that.

The text is easy to read and there are lots of humorous details in the lively illustrations. Hubble and Lovell’s actions are mainly shown in the pictures which allows the reader to come up with his/her own theories about what they are doing and much of the humour in the story comes from misunderstandings and false assumptions. Aldrin is convinced that the rubble in the bears’ truck is part of the moon and that their mysterious parcel contains a rocket. A beautifully illustrated, wordless, double spread shows Aldrin explaining his theory about Hubble and Lovell’s involvement in the moon’s disappearance!

The Great Moon Confusion is a great book to read during a classroom topic on the solar system. It explains how long it takes for the moon to orbit the earth and the concepts of waxing and waning. It can also be used to stimulate the question “Why does the moon get bigger or smaller?”. Like Aldrin, children can draw pictures to show their own waxing and waning theories.

The Great Moon Confusion is a very entertaining, humorous story which also provides children with an opportunity to learn and ask questions about what happens in the sky at night.

Age Range: 4 +

Author / Illustrator: Richard Byrne


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16 responses to “The Great Moon Confusion by Richard Byrne”


  1. Marjorie (MWD) avatar

    I love the names too – and I’m always attracted to stories that explain some sort of scientific principle in a creative, imaginative way… I think my sons would have loved this when they were small.


    1. Catherine avatar

      The problem of the moon is woven into the story in such a way that the story comes first, you get to know the characters before you are introduced to the science!


  2. Samantha @ Stir the Wonder avatar

    Thanks for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! We hope you join us again next week!


    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome Samantha 🙂


  3. Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar avatar

    I’ve never heard of this book, but now you have my interest peaked! I’m going to see if one of our local libraries has it 🙂


    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope you find it and enjoy it 🙂


  4. Lee avatar

    I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this book — the next full moon is May 3, 2015! I made a downloadable tracker for taking a full moon walk: http://pocketmousepublishing.com/2015/03/03/full-moon-walk-in-2015/
    Fun by moonlight!
    ~Lee


    1. Catherine Friess avatar

      Your full moon tracker is a lovely idea – thank you for sharing it Lee 🙂


  5. Verily Victoria Vocalises avatar

    This book sounds really interesting – and helpful for kids as much as fun. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo 🙂 x


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is an interesting story and explained the moon’s changes in a fun way that children can easily understand.


  6. Katie @ The Logonauts avatar

    This sounds like such a fun book! I love books that you can use to introduce science concepts. Thanks for sharing this with the #KidLitBlogHop !


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is fun and the characters’ names are brilliant!


  7. Rebecca avatar

    I always love your recommendations from across the pond, Catherine! More Americans need to be aware of international children’s lit! Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you Rebecca, I love to read reviews of American stories too. The kid lit blog hop is great for keeping up with kidlit around the globe 🙂


  8. Ronna Mandel avatar

    I love the characters’ names: Aldrin, Hubble and Lovell! Great idea. I still need the waxing and waning of the moon explained to me!


    1. Catherine avatar

      This is the book for you Ronna! The whole subject is introduced using so much humour that children don’t realise that they’re learning a new concept 🙂

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