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Moonfinder is the story of a little boy who learns about the phases of the moon through his father's easy-to-understand explanations. Each night, over the course of a month, he looks up to notice the changes in the moon's phases and position in the sky.
Beautifully illustrated, each page features a full-color painting that depicts the actual location and appearance of each lunar phase, along with celestial views that show the corresponding position of the moon in orbit around the earth. These help students understand how the astronomy behind the moon's changing phases corresponds to the changing positions of the moon in the sky. The story also includes a note at the end with detailed information for continuing your study of the moon and its phases.
With Moonfinder, cultivate an interest in science and nature as the entire family learns how to follow the monthly cycle of the moon! 32 full-color pages, hardcover.
By: Jay Ryan
Number of Pages: 32
|Vendor: Fourth Day Press|
Publication Date: 2011
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Author: Jay Ryan
Located in: Cleveland, Ohio
Submitted: September 29, 2011
Tell us a little about yourself. I've been involved in popular astronomy writing since 1995. For five years, I was a Contributing Editor to Sky & Telescope magazine, the definitive mainstream astronomy periodical. I also created Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, a Biblically-based homeschool astronomy curriculum also sold by Christianbook.com.
What was your motivation behind this project? My oldest son David was born in 1994. From the time Dave was a toddler, whenever the moon was out, I'd ask him "Where's the moon?" He'd look around the sky and try to find the moon. When he found it, I'd tell him,"You're a Moonfinder!" He would get so excited! It was a feeling of accomplishment! In 1997, I wrote Moonfinder to be loosely based on my own actual experiences with my son. It's a story about a little boy named David who learns about the phases of the moon with his dad. Thus, the story of Moonfinder is personally close to my heart, as it captures a time when my son was small.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? It's the simplest thing in the world to observe the cycle of the Moon's phases from night to night. However, busy Americans today never trouble themselves to look up, and the Moon is overlooked, and the simple order of its cycle is poorly understood. It's my hope that children (and their parents!) would rediscover the Moon's phases, and make observing God's creation part of their everyday lives.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? It was a lot of work to create all those paintings over a four year period, and it was actually an act of worship. It was a joy to communicate this information, and I only pray that it succeeds in doing so.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? When our kids were small, we read all the great children's stories, such as "Goodnight Moon" and also the works of Virginia Lee Burton, to name a few. Artistically, I've always aspired to emulate the Hudson River School landscape artists of the 19th century, especially inspired by the works of Thomas Cole and Frederick Church.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Since 2002, we have offered a free astronomy email newsletter through our website. Classical Astronomy. Also, find us on Facebook!
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