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

Thursday 25 February 2021

Review: Over The Moon

The 2020 animated film, Over the Moon, was well-received by both audiences and critics and its plot, which combines the rather diverse concepts of science and Chinese legend, is certainly original.  

Children who enjoyed this musical fantasy will no doubt be very drawn by this beautifully presented novelisation based on the movie.

Fei Fei has always been fascinated by the legend of the goddess, Chang’e, and her star-crossed love story. Her mother has shared it with her since she was small because of their shared love of the mystery of the moon. Their family business of making mooncakes is closely aligned to this story. 

The death of her mother leaves the little girl bereft, but she takes comfort in the closeness with her father until, after some years, her Baba brings home Mrs Zhong and her annoying little boy, Chin.  

Upset and jealous, Fei Fei, who is enthralled by science and space, determines to build a rocket that will take her to the moon and Chang’e, whom she hopes will find favour with her and grant her wish. 

The plan becomes very complicated when the successful rocket launch is marred by the fact that Chin and his frog have stowed away and are now part of the mission, with Fei Fei and her beautiful pet rabbit, Bungee.

Fei Fei discovers that myths are not always accurate and Chang’e proves to be more frightening than loving and she and Chin must join forces along with some very unusual characters to placate the goddess and achieve their goals. Along the way Fei Fei realises that family, no matter its composition, is all-important and becomes reconciled to the changes in her life.

The illustrations throughout include concept art from the animators and readers will, no doubt, delight in recognising these from their movie viewing.  The unusual combination of science, legend and the glimpses of traditional Chinese culture woven throughout will provide readers of all tastes with an engaging reading experience.

Title: Over the Moon
Author: Wendy Wan-Long Shang/illustrated by Netflix
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia, $24.99
Date of Publication: 12 February 2021
ISBN: 9780063002432
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction