Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Man in the Moon and Nicholas St. North Book I by William Joyce

Happy New Year dear reader friends.
The Queen here after a nice holiday break. To start off 2012, I have found two books, by the same author, William Joyce. I present to you today the beginning books of the Guardians series.

Nicholas St. North will resemble someone we are all familiar with during this time of year. However, this is not the jolly present-giver we know of today. Joyce has uncovered long lost tales of not only Santa's back history, but that of other guardians of childhood such as the Man in the Moon, the Tooth-fairy and more. All these beings are there to watch over children, protect their imaginations and ability to dream great dreams.

I present to you, Nicholas St. North Book I and The Man in the Moon. Thus begins the imaginative adventures of those who are sworn to protect and uphold all that makes childhood magical.

Publisher and date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)

Reading level: 7 - 11 Years

Book Info: Hardcover: 240 pages

Genre: Fantasy chapter book

ISBN: 978-1442430488

Book Theme:
The Guardians are all new versions of the familiar childhood icons, like Nicholas St. North, "a daredevil swordsman, ruffian, and notorious outlaw," or an Easter Bunny with a worldwide network of tunnels and a sword, or a Tooth Fairy who keeps the teeth she takes until she can return them to the children who lost them for a very specific and sort of wonderful reason.  Their task is to protect the very nature of childhood, to keep hopes and dreams alive and darkness away, and the payment they take is very simple: as long as children believe in them, they have power.  If that ever stops, they would all go away.

Book Description

Guardians of Childhood Chapter Books
Before SANTA was SANTA, he was North, Nicholas St. North—a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Like any swashbuckling young warrior, North seeks treasure and adventure, leading him to the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen, said to be home to the greatest treasure in all the East, and to an even greater wizard, Ombric Shalazar. But when North arrives, legends of riches have given way to terrors of epic proportions! North must decide whether to seek his fortune…or save the village.When our rebellious hero gets sucked into the chaos (literally), the fight becomes very personal. The Nightmare King and his evil Fearlings are ruling the night, owning the shadows, and sending waves of fear through all of Santoff Clausen. For North, this is a battle worth fighting...and, he’s not alone. There are five other Guardians out there. He only has to find them in time.

The Man in the Moon introduces younger children to Mim and how he came to be. Beautifully illustrated, with some pictures from the Guardian's Book I included, the reader learns the story of how the Man in the Moon came to be.

Publisher and date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)

Reading level: 7 - 11 Years

Book Info:Hardcover: 240 pages

Genre: Fantasy Picture Book

ISBN: 978-1442430488

Book Description

Guardians of Childhood
Up there in the sky.Don’t you see him?
No, not the moon.
The Man in the Moon.
He wasn’t always a man.
Nor was he always on the moon.
He was once a child.
Like you.
Until a battle,
a shooting star,
and a lost balloon
sent him on a quest.
Meet the very first guardian of childhood.
MiM, the Man in the Moon.

Reading Activity Adventures:

Do a study on the moon, depending on your child's age. Older children can look at the different phases of the moon and learn about gravity. Younger children can learn what the moon does, how it reflects sunlight and lights up our night skies. They can also learn about stars and how astronauts have traveled into outer space in rockets and the shuttle. 
Make it fun. Spend an evening star gazing during a full moon. See if you can recognize the face on the moon. If you have a telescope, all the better. 

Some Native American cultures made devices called dream catchers which were meant to catch bad dreams and let the good ones slip through. In the morning, when the sun hit the dream catcher, all the bad dreams would disappear. Enchanted learning has instructions on making your own dream catcher. 

Write a story about what you would do if invited to visit the Man in the Moon. What would you do? What do you think the environment would be like? Who do you think you might meet? Draw your own pictures to go with your story and put into a book form to share with family and friends. 

Author's Arena:
William Joyce explains the ideas behind Nicholas St. North and The Man in the Moon.


A true luminary and creative spirit, William Joyce has put his personal stamp on children's media in every direction. His picture books include George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob and Santa Calls; he's won three Emmy awards for his Rolie Polie Olie animated series; developed character concepts for Toy Story and A Bug's Life; and his films include Robots and Meet the Robinsons. He's currently co-directing The Guardians for DREAMWORKS, and is producing The Leaf Men, based on his picturebook. He lives in Shreveport, LA, and is the founder of Moonbot Studios.

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