“Drawing upon Chinese folktales and culture, Grace Lin creates an original fantasy in Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Minli and her parents live in a village near Fruitless Mountain. Here the land is dull and hard; the people poor and tired. Each day begins and ends with hard labor in the rice fields. Minli, however, believes in the power to change her family’s fortune. Inspired by her father’s tales of Chinese legends and folktales, she sets out alone to find the Old Man of the Moon whom she believes can bring life back to Fruitless Mountain.
In line with the elements of fantasy, Lin adds supernatural creatures, magic, a great battle, and a mystical setting. Creatively, she interweaves folktales within the main story. A change in font delineates the two separate, yet connected pieces, with the folktales’ elegant font adding a sense of distinction.
Peppered throughout the book are intricate, jewel-toned full-page illustrations which add not only beauty, but a cultural component as well. In addition, each chapter begins with a small, monochromatic Chinese illustration further expanding the cultural tone and creating a sense of unity. At the end Lin includes an author’s note and list of books which inspired her writing.
“I loved this book. It was super good, and I love the stories that the characters told in the book. My favorite part was when the king ( or the magistrate ) grew the peach tree magically.”book w wrote this review Monday, June 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Just enchanting. The tale-within-a-tale structure can be distracting if done wrong, but it was used to very great effect here.”Mark F wrote this review Monday, June 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Delightful-you must read this.”Betty B wrote this review Sunday, June 27, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The audio cd is wonderful...stories within a story. This book would make a perfect read-aloud.”Lisa C wrote this review Thursday, June 17, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A delightful children's book; thanks for recommending it, Mrs. Heins! Minli's family is extremely poor, so she sets off on a "quest" to ask the Old Man of the Moon how to get a fortune. She is a wonderful heroine. Highly recommended for both girls and boys. The reader of the audiobook is wonderful.”Ellen M wrote this review Wednesday, June 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Summer reading book. Its required that the entire school reads this.
Eveything in the book is connected.”
“i love grace lin! she is one of my fave authors ”Delaney H wrote this review Sunday, May 30, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Minli and her family live in a small, poor village in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain. Despite their circumstances, Minli and her father seem content with their lot, able to find comfort and joy in the stories Ba tells nightly. Ma, on the other hand, shows her displeasure by sighing often and chiding Ba for filling Minli's head with foolish notions. One day, Minli sets out on a journey to Never-Ending Mountain to ask the Old Man of the Moon (from one of her father's stories) how she can change her family's fortune. Along the way, Minli meets friends that help her along the way; a dragon that can't fly, a king, a poor boy with a buffalo, and some others. The spare but beautifully written prose really adds to the "fable" aspect of this story about faith, kindness, and the secret of happiness. ”Danielle wrote this review Wednesday, January 5, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No