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Criticism of pictures of moons in children's books

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http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/bad%20moons%20comments.htm

It's a list of children's books, with commentary explaining how the depictions of the moon are mostly scientifically inaccurate.

AM
#1 - December 23, 2007, 04:56 AM
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Several years ago one of my students (first grade!) pointed out moons that were wrong in picture books and info in dinosaur books that was outdated.   Kids notice.  The ones who don't notice don't know how the moon should be depicted and are learning. The pics must be accurate.  I shall never look at a moon again in a pb without determining the authenticity! 
#2 - December 23, 2007, 05:35 AM

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Interesting. I was looking at the examples and realised one of the illustrators critiqued is a friend of mine. To mention, or not to mention? Hmmm.
#3 - December 23, 2007, 05:47 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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Yikes!!!! My last book was set around the full the moon. I hope it doesn't appear on that list. Of course, the last update was in 2003. It seems as if most of the errors had to do with waxing and waning moons being shown in the wrong time and phase.

I think most folks actually don't look at the moon with any regularity, don't realize that it rises and sets in its own way just like the sun. It's a shame really, since I'm sure we all learned what the kids are learning, too.  :paperbag

How embarrassing for the authors/illustrators of those books.
#4 - December 23, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Aud

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(When I saw this topic, I thought--how interesting. Anne Marie started a discussion about pictures of moms in children's books. And that would be interesting. Also: I need glasses. Back to your moon discussion, now, people.)
#5 - December 23, 2007, 06:38 AM

I wouldn't mention unless I knew my friend was about to illustrate a moon again.
#6 - December 23, 2007, 06:47 AM

Barbara Eveleth

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This is very interesting, AM. Thanks for the link. If I ever illustrate a moon I will refer to this first.

Illustrators make mistakes. This one I can forgive b/c I bet most people are not terribly up on their "Lunar" knowledge. Apparantly, kids are.
#7 - December 23, 2007, 07:02 AM

HB

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Huh! Learn something new every day. I never noticed that early evening rising moons were never waning. Half the month we have waning moons but I guess those always must coincide with when the moon rises late. I can't blame the illustrators for not checking the scientific accuracy of waning vs waxing since I'm sure they didn't realize there was a pattern to verify.

However, the non-fiction books on the solar system should have been verified. And depicting full and crescent moons, or waxing and waning moons on the same night is just sloppy.
#8 - December 23, 2007, 07:52 AM

Barbara Eveleth

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Well said, HB. :)
#9 - December 23, 2007, 09:02 AM

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Ooh, I loved this, thanks, AM! I researched the moon phases and positions I've mentioned in two novels, but it never occurred to me to check picture books -- I just assumed it was a personal obsession (I once wanted to be an astronomer). But there are all kinds of problems with mentions in novels, too (mostly full moons rising at the wrong time of night, etc.)
#10 - December 23, 2007, 09:28 AM
The Farwalker Trilogy
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Reality Leak

www.jonisensel.com

Totally agree, HB.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy a pb I liked if the moon was depicted incorrectly but couldn't buy a nf book for the library if I knew it wasn't accurate.
#11 - December 23, 2007, 09:30 AM

laser_braids

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My book (Uncle Bobby's Wedding,out next March) ends with a moon rise - a full moon, rising at twilight. I am an enthusiastic amateur astronomer and I would die if I got something like that wrong! I didn't do a scientific illustration of the features on the face of the moon, because it would have been totally out of character with the rest of the illustrations.

Anyway, it always drives me crazy when I see illustrations showing things like stars inside the crescent of a new moon.

(OT: Another pet peeve is people who draw figure skates or hockey skates with the blade sticking out front and back, with two sticks attaching it to the boot. If you're going to illustrate people skating, wouldn't you take ten seconds to see what a skate actually looks like?)

#12 - December 24, 2007, 06:18 AM

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Great resource, thanks! I'm glad they also show "good" moon examples, as well.
#13 - December 26, 2007, 09:06 AM
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EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN (Contributor)

KenHenson

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disclaimer:  I know I'm responding to some older threads, but as I'm new to the board, I'm really enjoying reading through the archives!

This one is particularly interesting because I recently stumbled upon something I never would have though of relating to the moon and picture books:

It was an abstract for a paper that is a semiotic analysis of fathers in children's picture books, and it makes the claim that fathers in picture books are associated with the night, and especially the moon. 

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+depictions+of+fathers+and+children+in+best-selling+picture+books...-a0202365128

As a father, I thought...wow.   How strange!  I always thought of the moon as feminine  (Luna and what not).  Anyway, just thought I'd share.  :)
#14 - May 26, 2010, 04:44 PM

Neat, Ken.  I have a whole MG novel about a girl and her father and his fascination with the moon (mom is basically the earth figure).  I'll check it out!
#15 - May 26, 2010, 05:07 PM

KenHenson

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Interesting, Jaina!  Is that novel published yet?
#16 - May 26, 2010, 05:25 PM

Sadly, it's one my agent has been pitching a while.  It is dear to my heart (though I'm working on a new MG).  I do so hope it finds a home!
#17 - May 26, 2010, 06:09 PM

KenHenson

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Well great luck for it finding its home soon.  I look forward to reading it!
#18 - May 26, 2010, 06:48 PM

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