REVIEW: Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

Published: 15th May 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Pages: 40

Format: Hardback picture book (borrowed from the library

RRP: $24.99

3.5/5 Stars

From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. Dinosaurs roam, pyramids are built, and boats are made, but still no one comes. Will friends ever come visit her?

Commemorate the extraordinary Apollo 11 spaceflight mission with this heartwarming story of the Moon who just wants a friend.


Moon’s First Friends by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli is a super adorable picture about the moon and the Appollo 11 mood landing mission.

The moon is lonely and wishes for a friend to visit her up in space. She begs the dinosaurs, sabre-tooth tigers, woolly mammoths, the occasional whale and even an elephant to come and visit her, but no one ever does.  Determined, she does everything in her power to draw attention to herself – changing her shape and dancing through the stages of the moon and even blocking the sun for a solar eclipse. Still, no one visits until NASA launched a chimpanzee into space, before sending up the very first humans who landed on the moon in July 1969.

All in all Moon’s First Friends is a super cute and educational picture book. It breaks down some of mankind’s greatest experiments/advancements from cars, to planes, to rocket ships that finally landed on the moon, into simple and easy to understand terms. By personifying the moon into an adorable, but lonely character, Susanna Leonard Hill is able to explain the features of the moon – both in terms of moon phases, eclipses, moon rocks and dust (ie. landscape).

At the end of the narrative, five pages have been dedicated to explaining the science of earth and space and a bunch of cool facts. For example, it would take you one month (twenty-nine and half days) to get to the moon from Earth and despite having no air, weather or life evident on the moon, water was found there in 2009! At least two of the pages explain the stages of space rockets and the stages it takes to launch and land one on the moon and then return home.

As one would expect from a space-themed book, Elisa Paganelli’s illustrations are full double-page spreads featuring predominately black and dark blue backgrounds. Her illustrations are beautiful with a side of quirky personality that just makes the story all that more enjoyable.  I absolutely loved the way she brought the Moon’s personality through.

Moon’s First Friends is an adorable and educational picture book that would be perfect for any child learning about space for the first time.

To purchase a copy of MOON’S FIRST FRIENDS, visit the following online retailers:



To learn more about Susanna Leonard Hill, visit the following social media pages:

Author Website | Youtube | Goodreads

To learn more about Elisa Pagnaeli, visit the following social media pages:


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