Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship

Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship

written by Susanna Leonard Hill

illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky June 4, 2019

ISBN-10: 1492656801

ISBN-13: 978-1492656807

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Hill imagines the Apollo 11 moon landing from the perspective of the moon itself. In Paganelli’s friendly illustrations, the moon is an anthropomorphic, bright-eyed blue sphere with rosy cheeks who communicates with the changing world throughout history. Despite how she tries to make friends, from saber-toothed tigers to early air balloonists, all of Earth’s denizens remain planet-bound. Not even an early airplane can reach her, and “a chimpanzee in a Mercury capsule… returned to Earth without reaching her.” At last, the moon meets the astronauts of Apollo 11: “The astronauts walked across her surface with great bounding steps that made her dust bloom.” Hill concludes this light moon-landing story with back matter, including photographs, a timeline of the Earth’s eras, and details about the Apollo 11 mission. Ages 4–8.(June)

—Publisher’s Weekly

This cheerful title introduces a rosy-cheeked, eye-lashed ‘Queen of the Night Sky,’ lonely after 4.5 billion years of silvery bright solitude. Elisa Paganelli’s textured digital artwork extends the winsome story with a cozy version of space, a soothing, star-speckled blue rather than bottomless black, and watched over by the eager, anthropomorphized “queen,” who cheers as the Eagle lands right between her eyes.

—The New York Times Book Review

This is a story for young readers. It anthropomorphizes the moon, making her a character in the tale of the lunar landing. It’s remarkably sweet, and kids ages 2 to 5 will love it.


A cute story [that] manages to deliver some facts (including how solar eclipses work!) seamlessly within the narrative.


This playful book helps youngsters connect with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch this month. In the tale, the anthropomorphized moon watches humans from afar and eagerly notes as they invent the first airplane, build rockets and prepare to take the first tentative steps on her surface. Through text and informative back matter, young readers learn fascinating facts about the moon, astronauts and the space program.

—Washington Parent

For the littlest sky-watcher “The Moon’s First Friends” by Susanna Leonard Hill, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, gives the orb a certain friendliness. Through the centuries, as this tale goes, the moon observed everything that happened on Earth, occasionally razzle-dazzling humans until finally, she had visitors! This is a cute story and, for curious 3-to-5-year-olds, there’s a nice afterword you can read, too.

—Bookworm Sez