Monday, January 7, 2013

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of happiness, family, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless adventure story in the classic tradition of The Wizard of Oz. 
In the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.

The stork for my little family members took a curious route and ended up in China. This is where their mother, my cousin, found her daughters and brought them home. I was glad she found them and I thought a book like this might be interesting for them since it takes place in China. Of course, me being a book-a-holic... I had to read it first.

It is a story where the parents of Minli are a bit mismatched. The father is a storyteller who always has some adventure and way of the impossible being possible. The mother is dissatisfied with her life and always wished for something more. Their daughter being caught in the middle decided that her adventure to change their fortune fell to her. She set out on a journey to do just that.

Within the story are other smaller stories. Most impart wisdom of some sort and you learn as Minli learns. However, they aren't the only one learning as we switch back to her parent's POV and find out they are also learning lessons as well. Their adventure is one of faith and looking inward.

The adventure does, at times, remind me of the movie The Wizard of Oz. The friends she meets along the way is how she learns from others and it ends up being the journey that is more important than the destination.

The story ends with an HEA and also has a bit of background from the author as to where she went traveling and how it influenced her modern Chinese fairy tale.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I recommend it to young children and their parents who want something different that imparts lessons like friendship, selflessness, kindness, thinking of others, thankfulness, and enjoying what you already have.
I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

16 comments:

  1. it sounds like a cute story. You're right you needed to read it first!

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    1. Of course, it was a moral imperative. Had to check things out first... ;)

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  2. Quite different from your usual type of read, thanks for a great review.

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  3. I have this one on my tbr pile. I think I should move it up higher. Sounds like a wonderful story and I love learning about new cultures.

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    1. I think you'll enjoy it. Love to hear what you think.

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  4. Such a beautiful illustration on the cover! I think I'll recommend this to my brother for his little girls, thanks for the review Melissa:) I always love finding new things for my nieces' library.

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    1. I know! I have a few I still have to give them, but I have been on the look out for books. They will either love me or hate me for it. :D

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  5. Ohh, I don't read children's books as a general rule, aside from those I read to my daughter before sleep, but this one sounds lovely and it's about a different culture, which I always appreciate, so I'll consider buying it for her.
    Thanks for the lovely review

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    1. She really might like it. It's a cute story. I don't often read them myself, but I thought it would be a good one for the girls and was curious about it myself. :)

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  6. Hmmm, I'm liking the cover but not sure about it either. Sounds cool though.

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  7. Oh this is a new one. A Chinese fairytale with a twist of Oz to it. :D I think I like that sound.

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  8. I haven't heard of this before but it sounds like something I might really like! I love asian inspired books, especially fantasy!

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