Molly on the Moon

by Mary Robinette Kowal (Author) Diana Mayo (Illustrator)

Molly on the Moon
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Award-winning science fiction author Mary Robinette Kowal consulted with a NASA astronaut to craft her first picture book story, accurately describing how living on the moon differs from life on Earth.

Beautifully illustrated by Diana Mayo, Molly on the Moon is the tale of two siblings adjusting to their new home. When Molly and her family move to the moon, they can only pack the essentials--just one toy each for Molly and her baby brother, Luke. Luckily, Molly has a big imagination. A packing crate becomes a fort, a tarp becomes a witch's cape, and some cans become a tea set. Baby Luke, on the other hand . . . has blocks. Molly doesn't want to share. At first. But then she realizes that when you're on the moon--or anywhere else--a big imagination and being with someone you love can be infinitely better than all the toys in the universe. Inspiring and imaginative, Molly on the Moon also includes fascinating facts about the moon's environment, revealing how the differences in gravity, temperature, and time would affect our lives.


A splendid story in praise of imagination and generosity.

Publishers Weekly

Molly, her mother, and baby brother Luke have moved to the moon. But following the rocket-ship ride, their underground moon module is no speculative paradise: each child could bring only one toy--a stuffed lamb for Molly, blocks for Luke--and while Mayo's (Snow Ghost) mixed-media characterizations, soft textures, and blue hues offer a visual gentleness, the brown-skinned family's room is cramped, isolated, and sparsely furnished. Molly soon improvises more playthings, including a tin-can tea set and a "witch's cape" from an old solar panel cover. But when Molly angrily pulls her lamb away from Luke, sending him floating to the room's ceiling in the moon's weak gravity, Molly realizes how much her brother needs her. "He didn't have anybody at all to play with on the Moon," writes Kowal (the Lady Astronaut series, for adults), "except for her." And with Mom's help, she turns pieces of the witch's cape into a stuffed animal for Luke. Tensions between siblings are familiar material, but Molly's quiet determination to make the most of her new and limited circumstances gives this story emotional heft. An author's note discusses the moon's weak gravity. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"[A] sweet reminder that everything is better with a friend—and that a little ingenuity and compassion can lift any situation, regardless of gravity." —BookPage

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the Lady Astronaut series, which won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards, the Glamourist Histories series, and Ghost Talkers. She is part of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses and is a professional puppeteer. Mary Robinette also performs as a voice actor (SAG-AFTRA), recording fiction for authors including Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow, and Neal Stephenson. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Rob, and over a dozen manual typewriters.

Diana Mayo is an illustrator based in Chelmsford, near London. She enjoys working across the publishing, design, and editorial industries. Picture books she has illustrated include Yawning Yoga by Laurie Jordan, The End Is Just the Beginning by Mike Bender, and Snow Ghost by Tony Mitton. She runs Just Imagine Illustrators Group, exhibits her illustration work, and has recently turned her creative hand to making illustrated ceramics.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
April 20, 2022

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