The Children’s Book Review Interview in partnership with Shirley Moulton, M.S., author of Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1)
Shirley Moulton, M.S., has spent her entire career of 35 years working with children who have disabilities. She has also worked with non-disabled and gifted children. She has a Master of Science degree in Special Education and two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology and one in Special Education. She believes every child, whether classified with a disability or not, has many talents and gifts. She also loves being a mother and a grandmother!
In this interview, Shirley discusses Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1).
What five words best describe your story Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey?
Shirley Moulton, M.S.: Unselfishness, Bravery, Fun, Magic Moon, Family. (Can I count Magic Moon as one word? He IS one being…who is magic.)
Magic Moon is a “cool,” quirky, gigantic, somewhat terrifying, alien “moon-like” being who likes puns and jokes when he’s not accidentally causing small earthquakes! Which age group do you feel will appreciate this book the most?
For Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1) ages 4-9, younger children (ages 4-age 6) love to have this book read to them. (The story may be easily paraphrased or broken up into parts if needed.) If children have a paperback or hardcover edition as well as the audiobook, they may look at the full page of colorful illustrations while listening to the audiobook.
Older children (ages 7-9) may read the book on their own.
I’ve been told younger children as well as older children in this age range (4-9) love this book!
Hopefully, older children and adults will also enjoy Magic Moon books as they read them to younger children. (Some reviewers have told me this is a book for adults, as well as children.)
Magic Moon welcomes all children of any age! He would love to be friends with them. He may even be friends with their caregivers!
Magic Moon may grant two wishes for kids brave enough to face him—one request must be to find a lost treasure, and the other must be for something good that would not hurt anyone else. Where did you get this fun idea for such a book and character?
Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1) is actually a story I told (made up) to my young grandchildren one night. I was using a large flashlight, shining it on the ceiling. Two rings glowed around the central light, so I made this “Magic Moon.” I added to their bedtime story with “Magic Moon” having the power to grant two requests, but only when his two bright rings are shown around him. “Magic Moon” was born!
My then 3-year-old granddaughter wanted one request to be how to find something lost. This is my granddaughter’s actual “Dolly” in the story. She lost her old, dirty, battered dolly once and could not find it after looking for several weeks. (Her mother ordered her a new replacement dolly. My granddaughter found her old, dirty, battered dolly by the time the replacement arrived and did not want the new dolly! Several years later, my granddaughter still cherishes “Dolly.”
We next decided the second request must be for something good which would not hurt anyone else. Magic Moon is very particular about requests. He may or may not grant them…
My then 3-year-old granddaughter and her then 6-year-old brother, my grandson, were kind and helpful to each other; I based this story on their relationship! (They still are “cool” several years later.)
The story is about how a young boy asks Magic Moon to help his sister find her dolly instead of asking for something for himself, based on my grandchildren. This story was easy to write, it just “flowed.”
After the book was written, I thought “This would make a great children’s book to share with other children!” I decided to put it on sale later since this option was available!
First, I asked my youngest sister, Marilyn Whitchurch, an artist, to do the illustrations! She produced many full-page, beautiful, colorful illustrations!
Since I’ve retired from being a Special Education teacher, I hope that Magic Moon Children’s Books may be a different way that I may still be a positive influence in the lives of children.
I have written and published four more Magic Moon books since then!
There are themes of bravery, happiness, friendship, and family. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Being unselfish and kind has its “own kind of magic.”1
I hope readers will think about how the young boy finds true happiness through unselfishness. I hope this book will serve as a good example of being unselfish while also being interesting and imaginative. Magic Moon is a bit mischievous and provides some fun. He listens to children’s problems and acknowledges their feelings. He provides help. He is wise. (He also may give out free advice!)
Have you heard from any young readers who have read your book? If so, what have they had to say?
A group of 18 readers in England rated this book. They gave it 5/5 stars! They thought it was a good story about helping others and was exciting with lots happening. They said Magic Moon was a fun character! They also noted that the story was a bit simple for 9-year-olds but was liked very much anyway. They liked the illustrations.
I’ve heard from other young readers in person who have told me they really liked all the Magic Moon Books! Sometimes a caregiver or child will tell me that a certain Magic Moon Children’s Book is the child’s favorite and that this favorite book has been read many times!
Do you have any tips or advice on how caregivers can create a fun story-time experience with your book?
Some customer reviewers have noted that reading a Magic Moon book to a child has opened up conversations with that child!
Children could role-play various ways of showing kindness to others or use puppets to act out the story. Younger children could think about and draw pictures of what they would ask Magic Moon for if they could make a request. Children may learn new vocabulary words through using the context or by explanation. Children may tell or write how they thought of someone else and did something kind and how they felt afterward! They may tell or write their own story of how someone was unselfish and kind to them and how they felt when that happened!
As this book is listed as volume one, can you share your goals for the series?
I’ve already written 5 books in the series. (Magic Moon has been very busy in his different worlds these past several years!)
My main goal was to write fun, adventurous children’s books that promote unselfishness and kindness, with fun characters, and with a bit of “magic” and fantasy! I wanted to show positive behaviors through my characters’ examples. I wanted to be imaginative and inspire children to read more!
The first two books also have full-page, colorful illustrations. The illustrations are fun and have a different style than what you normally see in children’s books, which may be a nice change for readers, as well serve as an example for young artists. I’ve received several positive comments about the illustrations in the first two Magic Moon Children’s books. (The last 3 Magic Moon books are chapter books without illustrations.)
What would you say has been your biggest highlight in the writing process or post-publication of Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey?
I need to include Magic Moon in this answer!
Both Magic Moon and I have had many highlights!
Magic Moon and I have been very excited to see his stories written and published, especially as his stories have been converted into eBooks and sample videos as well as paperbacks and just recently, a hardcover version. He was especially proud when his first two audiobooks went on sale!
Magic Moon and I are interested in having his books translated into other languages next!
Another highlight for me, as Magic Moon’s best friend and author, was when I did several “Author Presentations” (before Covid-19) which were really fun as I got to interact directly with the children and give out free books, which they were rather excited about. I showed them a video with samples of Magic Moon’s books, as well as showing what an author goes through to write a book worthy of being published.
I did a “Magic Moon Children’s Books” party for my granddaughter, which was a blast!
It’s always a highlight in my day when caregivers or a reviewer tell me a child loves a Magic Moon Children’s book!
As an “Indie” author, I’ve been blessed with having an amazing and unselfish, caring family who’ve spent time and effort using their various professional skills and talents in all areas of production for Magic Moon Books! They’ve supported me during difficult and frustrating times. They warm my heart and keep me going. They are my inspiration!
Magic Moon has helped me by being so patient over the years. He also offers me good advice. He makes me laugh! He often “brightens” my day by “just being him.” (How “Cool” is that?)
As you’ve spent your entire professional career of over 35 years working with children who have disabilities, how do you feel your experiences have shaped you as a writer?
All of the children in my life have inspired me. I’ve learned a lot from each child I’ve had experiences with.
I strongly believe that each child has many talents and gifts, whether considered disabled or not!
(You will find these amazing abilities if you look for them.)
I wanted to write books to include the broadest spectrum of children’s abilities, which showed positive, caring, and unselfish examples of children toward each other. I also wanted really fun, “cool,” relatable characters in a world of fantasy and “magic.”
For parting words, is there anything else you feel we should know about Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey, the series, or yourself?
As an “Indie” Author, I have had my “highs” as well as my “lows.” Since Magic Moon is my BFF, he knows all about them.
I’ve had the “highs” of great reviews! For example, I was highly honored by Kirkus Reviews, who reviewed and rated Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey and listed it in their Top 10% Critic’s Pick – “Indie Books Worth Discovering,” – Sept. 2019. Magic Moon beamed extra brightly for a week after that!
The few customer reviews I’ve had have been good, with an average of 4.5/5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads for Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1).
I’ve also won awards and had good reviews from other professional reviewers. I’ve had to keep Magic Moon’s already large head from getting bigger after all this!
However, we “Indie Authors” need your help (as a customer) with more reviews and ratings. The reviews may be really short. Just a couple of words with a rating is very welcome and much needed! Magic Moon and I are very grateful for each and every rating and review! We want to get Magic Moon Children’s Books out to as many children as possible! I know I will likely never get back the money I’ve spent on Magic Moon Books, but I am happy when the books I write influence children to be unselfish and caring. We need more kindness in our world!
I’ve given thousands of copies of free eBooks and donated hundreds of print books over the years.
I continue to offer different Magic Moon eBooks each month or so for free on my website! (So, check it out!)
Magic Moon would love for you to come to visit him at https://www.magicmoonchildrensbooks.com.
Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1) is available in paperback, hardcover, eBook and as an audiobook at many retailers.
Magic Moon is also on social media:
Co-managed by my 16-year-old and 13-year-old granddaughters!
(The 13-year-old granddaughter is the one who inspired me, with her now 16-year-old brother, my grandson, to write Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey several years ago. She still has “Dolly,” and she and her brother are still kind and thoughtful with each other!}
1 Quote from illustrator Marilyn Whitchurch, about her children. https://magicmoonchildrensbooks.com/About
BY SHIRLEY MOULTON
Magic Moon: A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1) ages 4-8- Paperback, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Magic Moon: Sister’s Turn (Vol. 2) ages 4-8 Paperback, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Magic Moon: Two Worlds (Vol. 3) ages 8-11 – Paperback, eBook
Magic Moon: A New Beginning (Vol. 4) ages 8-11 – Paperback, eBook
Magic Moon: Bears Ears (Vol. 5) ages 8-11 – Paperback, eBook
Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1)
Written by Shirley Moulton, M.S.
Illustrated by Marilyn Whitchurch
Ages 4-9 | Pages 24
Publisher: Magic Moon Books, LLC
Buy the Book
This interview—Shirley Moulton, M.S. Discusses Magic Moon, A Young Boy’s Journey (Vol. 1)—was conducted between Shirley Moulton, M.S., and Bianca Schulze.