DiscoverPicture Books

The Moon Thief


Loved it! 😍

This captivating, modern fable offers a potential explanation for the phases of the moon while inspiring young readers’ imaginations.

Returning from a quest to recover a lost slipper, a young boy and his dog Luna observe something unusual in the night sky above them. The moon appears to be losing its light, slowly but surely. As the boy watches, he becomes certain that someone must be stealing slivers of the moon piece by piece to avoid detection. Because he is a true adventurer, the boy gathers his questing gear and sets off to find the Moon Thief and return the moon to its rightful place in the sky.

Written for elementary school-aged readers, this book feels like a modern fable explaining the phases of the moon. Short phrases and limited text make the story accessible to a wide range of readers, while the story itself inspires their imaginations. 

Beautifully rich illustrations depict the boy’s world, using small, visible brush strokes to complete each image. Dark hues, especially blues and blacks, place the reader squarely in the nighttime when the moon is at its brightest. Moments when the boy interacts with the shadow dancers are especially captivating and inspire readers to consider a world that comes alive at night. The boy and the Moon Thief are both depicted with light skin, and the boy’s age seems to vacillate throughout the story. This can be distracting, but it does not detract significantly from the plot. 

At the end of the story, readers will find a true explanation of the phases of the moon with both text and visuals. This element brings the fantastical ideas shared by the boy in this story into a real context and demonstrates how people can interpret life in delightful ways. A chart is also included for readers to track the phases of the moon on their own to observe its changes first-hand.

This blend of fiction and nonfiction is a great way to connect young readers to the natural world through storytelling and accompanying imagery. It is a lovely addition to read aloud collections for young elementary school-aged readers.

Reviewed by

I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.


Something terrible is happening in a small rural town! A very adventurous little boy with a fantastical imagination discovers that the moon is getting smaller by the day and a mysterious thief must be stealing it! It is up to him and his dog, Luna to bring it back.
“The Moon Thief” ignites our children’s imaginations to ponder the wonders of the world in which they live. When a courageous young boy becomes fascinated with the changing moon, he discovers a dark and mystifying land of shadows, dancing and laughter. It is here he is faced with The Moon Thief.
At the story’s end you’ll find an educational explanation and diagram on why the moon really changes, along with a fun calendar to track the moon’s phases. When we bring mystery, intrigue and excitement to education today, we nurture the curiosity that creates the discoverers of tomorrow.
“The Moon Thief”, targeting kids ages 6-12, does just that, encouraging them to read, explore and wonder!

About the author

Kristine Keck is an author that aspires to encourage kids of all ages to read, explore and wonder. She feels that when we bring mystery, intrigue and excitement to reading today, we nurture the curiosity that creates the discoverers of tomorrow. view profile

Published on April 01, 2021

Published by Atmosphere Press

1000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by