Book Reviews

Book Review: When the Moon Comes


When I read this story for the first time, I was instantly brought back to a memory I have of playing pond hockey on a friend’s family pond. I have played every winter for the last 6 years on this pond with friends, but my fiance has been playing on it since he was a little boy. Every winter, shovels in tow, a group of neighbourhood kids and school friends would come together to play pick-up hockey. A long time tradition, I was so thankful to experience something so pure, fresh and heart-warming. Now, 25 years later, the same family still hosts this wonderful tradition –  with the next generation of kids, which I am so fortunate to be a part of. I’m not sure there is a better winter scene than that of sipping hot chocolate after a skate on a cold winter’s night surrounded by friends and family.

I love everything about this book. From the captivating tale to the stunning artwork, it seriously will leave you in awe! You can pre-order it here.

Publisher’s Summary

In this atmospheric story, a group of kids play hockey on a frozen lake by moonlight. At once nostalgic and timely, this is a gorgeous book that will speak to readers young and old.

The beaver flood has finally frozen–perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. For the kids in town, it’s Christmas in November. They wait, impatiently, for the right moment. 

Finally, it arrives: the full moon. 

They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it–their perfect ice, waiting. 

And the game is on. 

When the moon Comes is steeped in tradition and nostalgia: for hockey, for childhood, for a simpler time. The beauty of the text is matched by the brilliant, rich illustrations that wonderfully capture the magic of a moonlit night in winter.


This gorgeously illustrated and moving story of the beauty and wonderment of nature’s secret winter gifts is a must-have. Whether you are a hockey fan or not, you need to experience this magical tale!

Classroom Connections

This text would be great for primary and junior audiences. During your read aloud, the following questions could be used to support student comprehension and to get kids thinking within, beyond and about the text. The Fountas and Pinnell Prompting Guide 2 is a great tool to help develop rich questions.

Before Reading

What do you think this story is going to be about?

Show students the front and back cover. How might you describe the illustrations?

During Reading


Depending on the age group you are reading this story to, you may have to explain some of the vocabulary in the opening quote. What do you think Stephen Leacock means by this quote?


What elements of art do you notice in this picture? Why might the illustrator have chosen the colours that he did?


What does this scene make you think of? How might this group of people be feeling now? What does the author mean by “Wonderful ice. Magic ice.”?


Before reading this page to students, have them close their eyes. How does the author’s words make you see what is happening in the story? What specific words helped you to image the scene?

After Reading

What do you think about this story?

What was the author’s purpose in writing this book?

Does this remind you of a winter activity you participate in? Do you have any traditions like this?

Do you think the illustrations suit the story? Why/why not?

Happy reading!




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