'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 26 June 2011

Review: Ayu and the Perfect Moon

Ayu, an elderly dance instructor, recalls her childhood dancing debut under a full moon in Bali.

As the traditional dancing career of a young Balinese girl is traced through Ayu’s eyes, different aspects of Balinese village life are revealed. Anticipation grows as Ayu is chosen to dance under the next full moon. People travel long distances to watch the classical Legong dance. Careful preparations are made.

Performing near the banyan tree in the village square, Ayu, dressed in traditional colours, wears a golden crown. Thudding drums, booming gongs and the tinkling gamelan harmonise with bamboo flutes as Ayu becomes the angry bird. She dances with eyes, face, hands and feet, finally flying to meet the moon.

Ayu and the Perfect Moon opens a window into traditional Balinese village life as well as the world of classical Balinese music and dance. Intricate pen and wash illustrations depict daily life while the text outlines dance preparations.

Ayu and the Perfect Moon will be treasured by many. Those who have visited rural Bali will relive their adventure with every turning page. Those who have never been there will get the chance to experience it. This tale reaches all ages. It is a story of life, culture and art in another world.

Title: Ayu and the Perfect Moon
Author and Illustrator: David Cox
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.95RRP
Publication Date: June, 2011
Format: Paper Back
ISBN: 921720222
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book