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 SnugThe 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

16 thoughts on “The Great Moon Confusion by Richard Byrne

    • 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 🙂

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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!

Leave a Reply