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What the book is about

The vain Moon is devastated when he finds out about the dirt patch on his otherwise pristine white self. He wants to be scrubbed and cleaned by Dhobi Kaka to regain his spotless beauty. The Moon cunningly manipulates Mitu into helping him out in this mission. 
But how will Mitu get the moon down to be cleaned? 
Will kaka be able to restore the moon’s spotless beauty? 
Will Mitu be turned into an owl for not keeping her promise? 
Join in the fun-filled adventure of the Moon, Mitu and Dhobi Kaka, as the trio set out on their mission to help the Moon become spotless.

Meet the Characters
children's books
MOON: He is rather vain and has eyes and ears only for himself. He loves to boast. But when he realises that he has a big dirt patch on himself, he is shattered... until a super-duper idea strikes him.

MITU: She is a simple 10-year-old who hates waking up early every morning and getting ready for school. Instead, she loves drifting into her imaginary world every now and then. Although she loves almost everything around her, she has a special soft spot for the Moon. Despite her own fears, she is ready to help him in his mission to attain spotless, white beauty.
books for children
moon stories for children
DHOBI KAKA: Over 60 years old, he is more like a Dhobi Dada, but he has been called Kaka since he was young. He is a gentle, fun-loving person who takes great pride in his ability to deliver the brightest whites in town. He is the inspiration for the Moon’s super-duper idea and goes out of his way to help both Mitu and the Moon in their mission. 
children's book about moon

Read an Excerpt

THE DIRT PATCH  (excerpt for Chapter 1)
On a clear and starry night, Mitu sat by the window gazing at the Moon. Wow! How milky white and rounded he looked! Mitu had been watching the Moon for a fortnight now. At first, he was only an oh-so-thin crescent, making her wonder if a piece of Amma’s white sewing thread had somehow floated out and fixed itself onto the night sky in the shape of a smile. She had loved seeing that smile grow bigger and bolder with each passing night so that tonight she could well imagine the Moon to be the open mouth of a giant rolling with laughter! 
Even as she threw herself into an imaginary world, a sudden gust of wind sent a shiver down Mitu’s slim body. When she returned her gaze to the sky, she was in for a jaw-dropping sight! The Moon appeared to be incredibly huge, so much so that Mitu thought she could touch him if she climbed up a slightly oversized ladder. She craned her neck out of the window to appreciate the beauty of the Moon from as close as she possibly could, expecting the Moon to be pleased with his perfect round shape and glow. But to her surprise, that was not so. That night, the Moon looked rather sad. 
“Dear Moon, why do you seem so sad tonight?” asked Mitu. “You are much rounder, bigger and brighter than on any other night. You should be happy!” 
Mitu’s question was not really directed to the moon; it was just a general remark that she had whispered to herself. So when the Moon actually answered, Mitu almost fell out of the window in disbelief! 

books about moon
THE GIANT WHITE GHOST  (excerpt from Chapter 6) 
Strong winds started blowing as Mitu walked home with a group of friends. It quickly got dark and chilly even though it was just half past twelve. When she reached home, Amma gave Mitu a tight hug and sent her to her room while she continued to march up and down the verandah, waiting for Mitu’s father to return. 
Back at Dhobi Kaka’s house, Kaka was still asleep, unaware of the chaos outside. As soon as the Moon noticed the changes, he realized what was happening. As per his instructions, the clouds were supposed to gather after dusk, when people expected the Moon to have risen. But the clouds (who had only recently had a squabble with the Sun), had taken matters into their own hands and had decided to teach him a lesson. The Moon was quite cross with the clouds for not sticking to their plan. But what could he do now, hanging on a clothesline in Dhobi Kaka’s backyard? 
As the winds gained strength, pieces of clothing hanging on the lines, started flying away one by one. The Moon was quite concerned now and started shouting out to Kaka to take him back inside the house. Unfortunately for him, with the windows shut tight, his voice did not carry and wake up Kaka. Though he was quite strong and tried hard to fight the winds, the Moon’s efforts were all in vain. When an extra-strong gust of wind rushed past, the Moon too, was blown from the clothesline. 

Reviews by Readers & Professional Reviewers

Review by Graham Griffiths on Amazon

I know of at least two children close to me who will read this book with pleasure.

This charming children’s tale, from the talented Priya Narayanan, has equally charming illustrations throughout the book. The story of Mitu and her attempts to assist the Moon to clean away his dirty patches reveals to its readers, both young and older, how important friends can be when compared to personal trivial vanities like a “perfect” appearance. At the same time it is full of intriguing new words and interesting behaviour that may reflect some of the cultural differences between India and other countries. Curious myths and traditions are hinted at without too much moralising, while children of primary school age can learn much from the entertaining and often amusing story. 

Review by Gita Reddy on Goodreads

The story moves fast and takes the reader on an enjoyable journey, giving glimpses of life in an Indian village and home, and ends with a twist and a moral. 

Children the world over are fascinated by the moon so a story in which a young girl and the moon are friends is a sure attention grabber. The moon wants to be spotless, and inveigles a promise from Mitu that she will help him. Dhobi kaka, the village washerman, is roped into the secret mission of getting the moon rid of his spots. 

This is a sweet and enjoyable book. The writing is clear and the illustrations are appealing. I recommend it to parents/ teachers for reading aloud to kids, or as a chapter book for Beginner Readers.

Review by Ica Iova on Amazon

The moon believes that being spotless is the most important thing in the world. But Mitu helps him understand that true happiness lies with friendship. This cute story filled with beautiful illustrations is told at a pace and in a simple language that children will have no problem understanding. Well done.

Review by reader Om Chand on Amazon

My daughter loved this book! This is such a wonderful book--a tale of simple facts of life explained in such easy way with illustrations. Mitu's promise to help the moon get spotless and the discovery the moon has of how important is friendship is--has been portrayed in a very beautiful way. 
The book is going to be enjoyed by all the kids alike. They would like the illustration and the way the writer is able to connect with them. Must read for kids if you have one in your family!

Review by Meggha Sheth on Goodreads
Priya has flawlessly narrated how imperfections can also be beautiful. Dear ones are happy to be with you irrespective of external appearances.  

I read a children's book after, I do not even know how long and I am so glad I picked this one! 'The moon wants to be spotless white' is a very simple story which takes one through this lovely tale with such ease that I could not wipe the smile off my face from page one. While reading this book, it felt like a fable which my grandma might have been narrating to me, where the moon is not a celestial body but he is like a mama who speaks with us!!!

This story touches a point which is very apt in today's time, exterior beauty. It is a fun filled adventure between, Mittu, the moon and dhobi kaka. There are moral lessons hidden in the narration. I especially found dhobi kakas character endearing with a Charm. The movie has three characters only, which avoids complications and my favourite is dhobi kaka. A very relatable one. My favourite part in the story was, how dhobi kaka's character handled a situation, where a joke he is trying to play to lighten Mitu back fires. This book was a refreshing journey back to my childhood. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am recommending it to my neices!!! A MUST READ for children today. 

Review by Gayatri Aptekar on her blog Outside the Kitchen Window 
You have to buy the book and soak yourself in the imaginary world of Mitu. This book is a perfect birthday/Christmas/New Year gift to your child or children you know. 
The following review is by Gayatri's 7yr old daughter, which makes it all the more special. 
Mitu is a small girl who loves to sleep just like me. She keeps staring at the beauty of the moon every night. One night the moon starts to talk with her. The moon is sad because it has a very dark patch. It asks Mitu to help her. Mitu loves the moon and can’t see it cry. So she agrees to help the moon. She and Dhobi kaka make a secret plan to make the moon white, without the patch. 
I loved the cover of the book full of colours. I liked Mitu, as she too loves to sleep and watch the moon. Mitu looks very cute. I loved the drawings in the book. I enjoyed reading the story of Mitu, moon and Dhobi kaka. I also read out the story in front of my friends. They also loved the story. After reading the story I wondered, what if the moon spoke to me one day. What will I reply? Priya aunty thank you for sending the book. I want to read more stories, so please write more books. 
Find the detailed review here

Review by Vibha Sharma of Literary Sojourn 
'Daag achche hain' (Stains are good) if they happen to be the price for joy, happiness and love - this is the premise of Priya Narayanan's 'The Moon Wants to be Spotless White'. 

Moon who is otherwise quite vain and is drunk on his own beauty, gets the shock of his life when he overhears a bunch of stars talking about his dirty spots. He finds a patient ear in a little girl Mitu who enjoys looking at the moon from the window of her room and always admires his grace and beauty. Moon comes up with a plan that he needs to get himself scrubbed clean in order to get back his pristine white looks. Mitu feels very happy to help the moon by letting Dhobi Kaka into the little secret. Dhobi kaka is kind enough to use his special secret formula on Moon so that the moon regains his spotless whiteness back. 
The trio get together at the dead of the night to work in this rare kind of mission but by the time they are done with washing and scrubbing, it is time for the day break. Now the moon will have to wait for the night fall to go back to the sky. What happens when the moon finally meets his heavenly friends in the sky? How does he narrate his adventure of previous night when he took a trip to the dhobhi ghat? Can he boast of his spotless white looks in front of them? Is he really as spotless as he wanted himself to be? Does his vanity win or the love of his friends? Head on to this rare adventure along with the moon who is ready to take all the trouble to satisfy his pride of being the most handsome in the sky. 
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Review by Parenting Website Kids Stop Press 
"Priya Narayanan's debut book is a visual treat for the kids with a simple story that takes the kids to the end of a lovely tale with great ease."- Kids Stop Press 

We Loved: 
- The simple story complimented with easy language for young readers. 
- The Hinglish that has entered our lives & helps the audience relate to the story more effectively, and meanings of the same for better understanding 
- The beginning introduction of each character that gets the reader acquainted with the story 
- The colourful illustrations that compliment the story 
The story is simple yet brings out the profound value of friendship. The easy language and colourful illustrations makes it more attractive for the young readers of today. This book helps the independent young reader to open up a whole new world of imagination where celestial bodies have been personified. 
Find the detailed review here

Review by Arti for MetroReader 
A happy book with an equally happy ending, this book is a must buy for all children, parents and grandparents. Though the author says, for five to eight year olds, I would say, any age. 

The book has been well written keeping in mind a child’s capacity to retain characters. It has only five characters, which is very easy for a child of 5-8 years to understand. The story is simple and the language is easily understandable. The scenes have been described very well and can be easily visualized. Mitu is a typical girl, wants to sleep in late, wants extra five minutes before she gets up (my eight and ten year olds wants two minutes every morning). 
There is moral in the story which I feel is very important in the books which have been targeted at children of this impressionable age. The book has been beautifully illustrated by Suhita Mitra, making it all the more interesting. The ‘Meaning of Indian Words’ at the end would help the non-Hindi speaking readers understand the book better. 
For the detailed review click here. 

Review by 
The Moon Wants To Be Spotless White has characters that children can easily relate to: there’s a dreamy little girl, a petulant moon who is no less lovable for throwing fits, and an affectionate grandfather figure, who like all imaginative adults, believes that the improbable isn’t impossible. 
Reminiscent of bedtime folk tales, the storyline is simple. The illustrations are conventional but sweet. Children will enjoy looking at the full page illustration of Mitu and Dhobi Kaka sitting on the moon and brushing away, while the Moon giggles! One of the smaller visuals, the image of Dhobi Kaka asleep, with the patchwork quilt wrapped around him and a cat curled up at the foot of his bed, evokes a warm feeling. 
The book is a pleasant read with scope for play-acting to keep parent and child busy at bedtime. There is also a glossary at the end of the book, a useful go-to for non-Hindi speakers. 

Review by YA author Aviva Gittle on Goodreads

As an adult, I enjoy reading stories that provide a way to talk to a child about important life lessons in a fun, non-preachy way. Moon provides many opportunities to discuss cultural differences, commitment, the importance of friendship, and more.

The Moon Wants to be Spotless White is an interesting story for children on several levels. It is a way for them to learn about Indian culture in an engaging way. It also deals with the topics of vanity, cooperation, and friendship. The main character, a little girl named Mitu, makes a promise to help the moon. The moon is very upset because he has dirt on his spotless white surface. Children will enjoy the imaginative way Mitu, along with the man who washes clothes for the village, Dhobi Kaka, find a way to bring the moon down to Earth to be cleaned. Also, the illustrations are bright and colorful and sure to hold a child's attention.

Review by Parenting Website Indian Moms Connect 
"Priya Narayanan narrates a wonderful story with vivid imagination about the moon wanting to be pristine white. The illustrations by Suhita Mitra are very eye catching & just appropriately placed." - Indian Moms Connect 

What we liked about the book: 
1) The story line, which gives important lessons in life without being preachy 
2) The appropriate illustrations 
3) The minimal characters so that the story isn't too complicated 
4) The description of situations 
5) The meaning of Indian words in the glossary to appeal to an international audience 
6) The absolutely awesome ending 
The book, perhaps, even passes a subtle message to children about how looks aren't everything & there are more important things in life than looking good. Certain aspects like Amma letting Mitu go alone with Dhobi Kaka or Mitu faking a stomach ache to stay at home did bother us. But hey, they're part of the story, and weave in pretty well. 
You can read the detailed review here

Review by Children's Author Wendy Unsworth 
As an English reader and Grandma I found the pace and pattern of life for this little girl, Mitu, in her Indian village absolutely charming. 

This gentle tale is well told and beautifully illustrated. The moon believes that his appearance is the most important of all things but in trying to achieve his perfect look finds that actually friendship is a much more wonderful gift. The story is simply told in a way children easily relate to without the need to feel there is some lesson to be learned. 
My young grandchildren loved this story for Its adventure but were also fascinated by the descriptions of Mitu's home and family and there were lots of questions along the way. At the end of the book there is also a list of the Indian words that are used in the telling of the story which we all enjoyed and I learned something too! Would highly recommend for 5 years and up. 

Review by Kritika Narula on her blog So Many Books, So Little Time 
Brought back the unalloyed innocence of childhood and the lessons I always wished I learnt sooner in my life. Believing plays a great role in the plot, and hence this is a great book for kids! 

First thing of all, I fell in love with the premise of the book: how the moon is vain and superficial, and he wants his beauty to be restored. He asks Mitu for help who, with the help of the Dhobi Kaka, grants his wish. But is a wish getting fulfilled just as delightful as the expectation of it? This is what a quintessential childrens' book should be. A moral lesson hidden in a simple story which the kids will realize when they grow up, has a symbolic significance that cannot be overlooked. And yet, it makes sense even when you read in the innocence of childhood. 
Also, going through life, being with loved ones, fighting for your ideals leaves scars on you. We are not our skin. These scars are something to be proud of, not something to be shunned. I cannot thank the author enough for writing so beautifully about these things. 
For the detailed review, click here

Book reviewer Devi Nair's take on The Moon wants to be Spotless White 

Priya Narayanan has managed to capture the innocence of childhood in a well illustrated book using very simple language.
The story is about how Moon aspires to regain his hurt ego and how two people - a child and an old man - manage to assist The Moon by pure belief and dedication. The illustration is so beautiful that imagining the story works perfectly in our mind. It is very much like watching a mini movie in our head while we are reading. Kudos to Suhita Mitra for the wonderful and very beautiful illustration. The language is simple and crisp, children who can join letters and read will be very happy to come across such books. 
Children's Book is a completely different genre in itself. The joy and innocence you feel when you finish such books are incomparable to any other book of any other genre. The innocence of Mitu and the sincerely of Dhobi Kaka makes us feel so nice and happy about everything else in the world. Such books are definitely a pick-me-up whenever you are feeling low. I positively loved the book and would recommend it to everyone, irrespective of age. 

Review by Dr.Suguna Kannan, Academic Consultant 

Priya Narayanan's book was a refreshing journey back to childhood. 

Not only did I enjoy the imagery but also the style of the book. It does not talk down to the children but treats them as equal partners in this long journey called life. 
All the children to whom I read out the book enjoyed it immensely and wanted to hear it again and again. Truly worth stocking in your child's library - it will be a gift you will be giving your grandchildren too! 

Review by children's author Christeen Bauer 
The moon shines bright for me. Thanks for sharing Priya. I really enjoyed. And all this time I thought the Moon was made of cheese! 
This book intrigued me from the beginning. Not only does it take place in a far away land (as I live the USA) it tells a story that is felt around the world. The story of not fitting in because of acting/looking/thinking different or not not conforming to the society in which we live, is universal. As we become involved in the story of the little girl helping the moon become a clean and white as he possibly can, we also learn of loyalty and honor. 
I especially love reading about Indian culture and Indian words used throughout as an extra bonus. I found it fun guessing at their meaning and then checking myself by using the word key at the end of the book. I think children around the world will relate to this tale with smiles and happiness. 

Review by Vanya Bhattacharya for Word Bite 
A very sweet and easy narrating style, especially made for children is one book, after reading which everyone would be ‘awww!’ 

The story is a very unusual one. It’s about the Moon being devastated as some rowdy starts come and tell him about the dark patch of spot in his otherwise spotless skin. Angry and hurt, the moon manipulates a sweet girl named Mitu for taking him to Dhobi kaka (well known for cleaning stuff spotless) so that the latter can make the moon as it was. What happens next is what everyone should look out for in the story. 
One perk of the book which is the highlight is the animations used in it. Wonderful illustrations by Suhita Mitra and the great quality of the book make it sweeter. For me, I recommend it to all the mothers for reading it out to their children because the moral the story gives is wonderful. 

Review by puppeteer & children's author Russell Whitehead 
Seeing the characters on the cover leads me to wonder. Where are they off to with the moon in tow? Wherever it is the moon seems happy enough to go along. The scene begs me to open the book to find out the rest of the story. A very well thought out, beautifully put together chapter book with excellent storytelling and superb illustrations. If you like fairytales and fables with a cultural slant then you are sure to enjoy this book. It's a must have for your collection! 

Review by RivoKids - Book voted as a Parent's Pick on the RivoKids Blog 
'I really liked this book. The concept was different, and the plot was good. I liked it because the characters are very simple hearted. The moon was funny because he was vain but he later realized that he doesn’t want to be white if it means giving up his friends. I will tell my friends to read this because its funny and sweet. -10yr old Govind 

What appeals to children about this book are its glossy illustrations and conversational language that is sometimes interspersed with visual imagery. Its unique storyline and loveable characters make children like this book. Apart from certain instances where Narayanan uses figurative language which small children might not understand, I would definitely recommend parents to buy this book and read it out loud to their children. Although I am a bit older than the target age group for this book, it reminds me of books my parents read to me when I was 4-5 years old and so I was able to connect with it.  


Review by Jayashree Roy on her book-blog A New Dimension in Review 
The book is absolutely delightful taking you through a fun filled journey. The narration of the writer is so lively, so visually expressive that sometimes you may wonder whether you are reading a book or watching a 3D movie! 

The neatly woven story line coupled with thrilling climax makes the children love to read the book again and again. The illustrations are a part of the asset of the books that tells the story from a humorous viewpoint. Story, illustration, printing quality and art paper printing-all make this book truly an asset for the children. With an inherent message embedded in the book, parents will simply love to gift this book to their children. This book is highly recommended for kids in the age bracket 5-12. 
And last words of whisper to the parents-when you get some time off to your busy schedule just scroll down the pages. The nostalgic feeling will mesmerize you! The same feeling when you used to hear your mother telling you a bedtime story! 


Review by children's author Susan Day 
This is a delightful book which I really enjoyed. The story flows along nicely and the characters are likable. I think that most 5 to 8 year olds will love reading this book on their own or with a little help. The illustrations are great too and will help keep children entertained. 

Review by Sundeep for the Book Blog - A Trail of Words 
The message conveyed by the tiny tale is pretty good, all the same not being too sententious. 

This marks the first Children's book I have ever received for reviewing. Though, thin, the book made it up with the length and breath. What is a Children's book without colourful illustrations? That is one reason I always mention the name of the illustrators in the title of the book. They have a great deal of positive influence on readers. The illustrations in the book are painted, giving a more artistic value to it. I loved the illustrations. Being my first exposure to Children's stuff, I pretty much like the book and am looking forward for more of these. 

Review by Vikas Pratap Singh, Book Blogger 
This is my first children's book to review, and I am glad I read (and liked) it. Personification of the Moon could have been tricky, but the author manages to weave this character too with grace and vivid fancy. The language is breezy both for adults and their lower age counterparts. 

Review by Sohni Basu, Book Blogger 
The story is short, crisp and has the capability to hold the interest of the reader till the end. The author has created a story telling environment which will enable the child reader or the storyteller to visualize the beauty of nature all the way till the end. On the whole, this is a wonderful book to gift our children and the author has done a great job. 

Buy the Book

'The Moon wants to be Spotless White' is available at all leading bookstores & online retailers. Click on the e-tailer of your choice to buy/ gift a copy or to leave your valuable reviews.

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