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Children's Fiction Bedtime & Dreams

The Moon King

by (author) Cara Kansala

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Feb 2020
Bedtime & Dreams, General, Stories in Verse
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


When the magical Moon King tips over the night, it spills across the land and sea, and he seeks the help of animals big and small to collect the stars and return them to the sky. In this beautifully illustrated bedtime story, Cara Kansala weaves an enchanting fable destined to become a children’s classic—the perfect way to welcome the night and celebrate the wonder of dreams.

About the author

Born in Northern Ontario, Cara Kansala now calls Newfoundland home. A full-time folk artist and children’s book author, she is known for her whimsical depictions of familiar Newfoundland sights. Cara draws constant inspiration from the rugged landscape and energetic spirit of the people she encounters. Her colourful Newfoundland scenes and playful style are recognized throughout the province and beyond. Cara spends her time between Upper Island Cove and St. John’s, where she lives with her wife, Ailsa, two children, a Foof, and a fluff-muppet called Beatrice.

Cara Kansala's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This bedtime story for young children aged between three and six reveals a rather whimsical goat-like moon-king happily dancing. As he does so, he trips over the night spilling its darkness and its stars across the world below. The stars fall into every nook and cranny of the earth. Contrite and anxious to compensate for this error, the moon-king calls upon all varieties of sleepy animals to help him restore the stars to their rightful place in the sky. Written entirely in a nicely paced verse, this fable, with its dreamy atmosphere, encourages children to understand nighttime as something to be welcomed rather than to be afraid of… Some illustrations are particularly attractive, especially those that reveal flocks of brightly colored birds returning their shining stars back to their home. The magical and imaginative elements and colorful art make The Moon King a pleasant and calming bedtime read for both parents and their children."

Canadian Review of Materials, Volume XXVI/Issue 37

"In rhyming verse that carries the story like a milky way of celestial elements, Cara Kansala tells of the Moon King's distress at releasing the stars of the night sky onto the land… In her dazzlingly coloured acrylic paintings, Cara Kansala depicts the Moon King's desperation to return the stars to the heavens, with the help of wildlife woken from slumber… Though young children will be lulled to sleep with this bedtime story's rhythm, the energy in Cara Kansala's artwork may invigorate them to investigate more closely. There may be a blue, black and turquoise night sky background peeking out from behind each illustration but those brilliant stars and menagerie of Newfoundland fauna urge closer scrutiny. You'll get your little ones to bed eventually but I suspect that it may take several repetitions of The Moon King's reading before it will happen readily. Fortunately with the stars back where they belong, their sleep will be filled with goodness and light."

CanLit for Little Canadians

"A stunning bounty of color and whimsy and charm illustrate this sweet story told in rhyming verse. A story whose words are a lullaby with no need for music. This book is meant to be read and re-read aloud in a quiet voice with lots of pausing to marvel over each illustration. Just right for a cuddle down under a quilt with a stuffy and a special adult. Please visit this artist’s website. I know you will fall in love with her whimsical visions, just as I have."

Atlantic Book Reviews

The Moon King tells the story of a clumsy sky creature, dependent on the kindness of Earth’s animals, to right the stars in the sky. A wondrous bedtime tale with mesmerizing illustration, Kansala depicts Newfoundland and Labrador as a dreamland (though only ever naming Labrador, which deserves extra points, given The Big Land is often left behind). Starlit cliffs and caves, firths and fiords make for a mystical and moonlit lullaby. Here, all wild creatures–-Arctic hare, moose, black bear, fox, whale, wolves, and birds–-are quick to lend a paw, fin or wing to help the Moon King reignite the night sky with stars. Everything returns to its rightful place just in time for the wild creatures (and your own little ones) to fall asleep.”

Atlantic Books Today

"Bursting with colour and joyful energy, folk artist Cara Kansala’s new picture book feels like a traditional fairytale, or a beloved nursery rhyme. It is the story of the hapless Moon King, who trips over the night and scatters the stars throughout the land, sea and sky... Lilting and lovely, the gentle and soothing rhymes have a pleasing rhythm. Together the words and images exude whimsy and wonder. Kansala uses a bright, lively palette of primary and secondary colours along with bold, black outlines and cartoon-like characters to create her playful scenes. The stars have a quirkiness about them that might make readers believe that they are enjoying the mayhem and mischief that is afoot... Whether it is being read at bedtime or storytime, this vibrant and imaginative tale is sure to delight young audiences."

Atlantic Books Today

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