Review: The Night of the Hiding Moon
The first thing that wowed me about this picture book was the gorgeous title font; simple yet elegant, a bit like the moon, which is the premise for this story.
Then, in contrast to the gold infused cover, promising and light, we are plunged into a world of speculative obscurity and thunderous roars. Felix is marooned in a night of storms. A night where the moon has slipped her moorings and has gone into hiding. At first afraid and conflicted by the storm's rage, Felix soon gathers his bedside buddies, takes his torch and embarks on an idea.
Rather than run from the shadows, he decides to make one into his friend, an ally who is brave and strong. His shadow friend is this and more. Her daring and beauty transform the night into a bold show of shadows, each as elegant and fearless as she. Each as restless to enter the tempestuous night and face it down.
Felix hesitates as you might expect; a thunderstorm is awfully confronting after all, but he eventually follows them with his torch and goggles and embolden spirit. What he encounters does not tear him asunder as he first feared, rather he finds a strange new calm, the type of deep solace that occurs only after we have faced our most confronting fears.
The Night of the Hiding Moon is a surreal yet magical analogy about finding courage in times of great anxiety. For many of us this may be enduring a terrible thunder storm. For others it could mean much more. Fear comes in all shapes and forms. So too does the conviction that fear is only as strong as we allow it to be. For Felix his courage went into hiding each time a storm raged, threatening his sense of reason and peace. Just like the moon, it was swallowed by darkness until he learnt a way to retrieve and restore it. His way was by enlisting the help of the shadows.
Allen's poetic narrative allows Ng's luminous illustrations to colour Felix's quest for courage with bold fierce beauty. This tale also employs the use of traditional Asian pupperty to enhance the visual implications of puppet play and includes background information on puppets used in the art of storytelling plus templates for making your own shadow puppet!
A winner all round! And especially useful in early primary classrooms.
Title: The Night of the Hiding Moon
Author: Emma Allen
Illustrator: Sher Rill Ng
Publisher: NLA, $24.99
Publication Date: March 2020
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book
Buy the Book: NLA Bookshop, Booktopia, Boomerang Books