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The Moon Was at a Fiesta Hardcover – March 1, 1994


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Hardcover, March 1, 1994
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Hardcover: 38 pages
  • Publisher: Tambourine; 1st edition (March 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068811637X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688116378
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,786,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cultural charm resonates throughout this appealing original folktale. Here Gollub and Martinez, who previously collaborated on another Mexican-inspired tale, The Twenty-five Mixtec Cats , offer the Oaxaca explanation for why the moon is sometimes visible during the day. "For hundreds of years, the sun and the moon stayed in their separate skies. It was the sun's job to shine all day long while people went about their work. It was the moon's job to watch over people's dreams." When she overhears the stars talking wistfully about the games and feasts enjoyed during the sun's hours, the moon decides to throw a party of her own. Excited by the prospect, the townspeople, local animals and even the neighborhood mermaid offer to provide food and costumes. Martinez's angular, folkloric artwork features a sandy, desert palette accentuated by brightly garmented characters. Ethnic masks, dolls and lanterns, which are described in a glossary at the end of the book, further enliven the festivities. The moon's remorse when the tired, nocturnal revelers are unable to perform their daytime duties casts an ungainly moral over an otherwise sprightly and lighthearted tale. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-This original porquoi story set in Mexico explains why the moon is sometimes visible in the morning sky. The sun and moon are happy with their celestial arrangement until the latter hears about the parties and feasts that take place during the day. She becomes jealous, and decides to have a fiesta at night. The people agree and stay out until daybreak, so when the sun rises, none of the work in the fields gets done. Although the moon is remorseful and resolves to stay in the evening sky, she occasionally likes to celebrate, and "That's why in Oaxaca, when people rise with the sun and see the moon, they say, 'The moon was at a fiesta.'" The story is perfect for reading aloud. The Spanish words, seamlessly interspersed throughout, add flavor. The watercolor, gouache, and acrylic illustrations perfectly complement the text-cool greens and blues reflect the light of the moon by night, and earth tones reflect the sun's glare by day. The same luminous colors used in the landscapes are repeated in the people's faces and clothes, suggesting their close relationship with nature. Full of wonderful details, the pictures give a glimpse of Oaxacan culture-the paper cut-out decorations, fireworks and wooden masks, and the anthropomorphized moon-and beautifully convey the people's respect for nature and their love of celebrations.
Lauren Mayer, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Matthew Gollub is a children's author, speaker, storyteller and musician. He has created 15 picture books which together have garnered 25 national awards and distinctions. His musical narrations on audio CD--set to jazz, Latin jazz or rhythm and blues combos--accompany some of his most popular books. (Yes, that's also him playing drums behind his vocals.) He delights in introducing rhythmic sounds to kids while engaging their imaginations with stories. His idea of a successful children's book with audio is one that kids, and grown-ups, can savor time and again.

Kudos for Gollub's latest title, "Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga", include: Foreword Reviews Best Books of the Year Gold Award Winner; USA Book News Best Books 2010 Award Winner; International Book Awards Winner; Parents' Choice Award; Moonbeam Children's Book Award Gold Medal.

Acclaim for the original "Jazz Fly," his all-time bestselling title, includes: Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Award; America's #1 Recommended Children's Book, Children's Book Sense 76; Benjamin Franklin Award for Children's Book with Audio; Smithsonian's Notable Books for Children; California Department of Education Suggested Reading; San Francisco Chronicle Editors' Picks.

"Gobble, Quack, Moon," loosely based on the author's family as he grew up, likewise received a Benjamin Franklin Award and was a Top 10 Book Sense selection among independent booksellers nationwide. This title enjoys a further distinction in that the author's mother has named it her favorite book!

A dynamic, bilingual (English and Spanish) presenter, Gollub has performed at over 1,000 elementary schools, providing language arts enrichment for over half a million students. His goal as an author/speaker is to inspire young people to read for fun. He lives with his wife and son in California, one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like the storyline, love the illustrations, but was disappointed that the book was signed to a particular person and that it was not noticed in the comments. I would not have purchased it if I had known. :(
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By Zuri on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book describes everything perfectly. All the moon wanted to do was please her star friends so they wouldn't leave her. But of course things happen and things go good in the end. The pictures are very beautiful in this story. You can tell that the illustrator put a lot of effort into his drawing along with his other books and the author put a lo of thought into the story.
This book is bombdiggity!
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By Elizabeth S on May 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
arrived fast, and as described. The pictures are wonderfu. We have some paintings by Leo and that is why we wanted the books. They are beautifull
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Format: Hardcover
"Mom, why is Luna still in the sky?" My children have asked me this very question. Matthew Gollub's original creation myth seeks to answer this query in this delightful picture book. A jealous Moon wants to commune with the human race like the Sun. She enlists the aid of her new friends and the festival planners. To honor her, the padrinos arrange all to create a colorful celebration, replete with lanterns and manigotes (giant papier-mâché puppets). Even a mermaid joins the effort. After much food and dancing, the Moon and the villagers fall asleep when the Sun arrives. The illustrations by Oaxacan artist Leovigildo Martinínez remind me of the pottery of the region, shaded bright colors over sand and earth tones. His art lends a mythic quality to the real life festivities that this story describes. At the back of the book, you will find a few Spanish terms defined and a short historical note that invites discussion. My 4 and 8-year-old children and I have talked about the ways that different peoples seek to understand their world. "The Moon was at a Fiesta" has opened up an opportunity to explore a multi-cultural milieu of fable and legend. Mr. Gollub has, in fact, written another such story that I can recommend, "Uncle Snake," with pictures by the same artist. Both stories are wonderful additions to lend an international quality to your child's bookshelf. Both are also available in Spanish.

The Moon Was at a Fiesta
Uncle Snake
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Format: Library Binding
This tale about the Moon first attracted me with its illustrations by Leovigildo Martinez (Torres). The flattened, angular faces seem to mirror the crescent moon of the story created by Matthew Gollub. The two artists fashioned a colorful Fiesta for the moon who feels diminished by the sumptuous celebrations held under the aegis of the Sun. There are cultural details to discover everywhere.

The crafts of the region are showcased: stilt-legged Monigotes dance around, cut paper decorations are festooned, lanterns, food & drink are plentiful. Then the mermaid and even the Moon 'party' to excess. Remorse follows, and in Oaxaca, if people rise when the sun and moon share the sky, it is said that "The moon was at a Fiesta!"

The tidbits of history are great fun on the page with a glossary. Reviewer mcHaiku only wishes that for elementary students a few patterns for cut paper garlands could be added. This is a truly colorful and inexpensive craft, as original as the collaboration by Gollub and Martinez. A wonderful book to share with children who will be caught up in the excitement of preparations in this orginal folk tale.
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