Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon


Although I am still revising like crazy, I had to come out to celebrate the release of Grace Lin's wonderful new book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I wanted to let everyone know how much in love with this book I am. It is a book that begs to be read aloud to every child in the world. It's a book that is easy to love. And it is a book that is already raking in the accolades. It has just won the Parent's Choice Gold award and has a starred review from Booklist!

Minli, whose name means quick thinking, lives with her poor parents in the valley of the Fruitless Mountain. In the evenings, against her mother's wishes, her father tells her wonderful stories about the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. One day Minli spends one of her only 2 coins to buy a goldfish to bring the family good luck. Her mother is angered by the wasteful purchase and Minli feels sorry for what she has done and decides to seek out the Old Man of the Moon to help bring fortune to her family. Along the way, she befriends a dragon, a talking fish and other wonderful characters. The story is beautifully interwoven with Chinese folktales that add a wonderful element to the narrative.

Little, Brown has published a beautifully made book as well, with Grace's full paged and colored illustrations interspersed throughout the book as well as Grace's beautiful drawings opening each chapter. Grace is an amazing artist as well as writer. I've been a fan of her work since my girls brought home Dim Sum for Everyone from the library one day and moved on to Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat. Not only is she a multi-published author/illustrator, but she is also a fellow member of the Enchanted Inkpot community.

So if you are looking for a present for that favorite kid in your life, consider this gem of a book. It is aged 8 to 12, but my 5 year old adored me reading the book to her, and I loved reading it. And to celebrate Grace's release of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, I am having a small contest. This is a picture of Minli from the book. And I have a signed copy of this picture as a prize, along with 2 copies of Grace's book with signed bookplates. There are 2 ways to win. To win a copy of the book and a signed bookplate from Grace, all you have to do is leave me a comment. That's it. To win a copy of the picture signed by Grace and the book and signed bookplate, then all you have to do is post the contest on your own blog and link back to me in the comments here. That's it. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment about the contest on someone else's blog, link back to me and be entered. If you enter the contest for the picture and book, you will also automatically be entered in the other drawing so that doubles your chances.

Lastly, I will share with you two last things. I interviewed Grace for the Enchanted Inkpot and her interview will go up next week on July 8th. I thought I would share a little taste of the interview here:

Ello - How do you incorporate your illustrations with your story? What comes first? Do you envision your characters first or do they come up from your writing?

Grace - For me, the writing always comes first with any book. I usually can't draw anything until the story is finished.

However, the character of Minli did come from an image I did before I wrote Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. In late 2003, I did a cover illustration for Cricket Magazine of an Asian girl riding a flying red dragon. As I painted the image, the girl captivated me. I had painted her in traditional clothing, over an idealized Asian landscape. I imagined her full of delight on her ride in the sky, full of adventure and life. She was my first character idea for Minli. But as I wrote the story, she changed a bit and, of course, became more fleshed out with characteristics and personality. She also became younger. However, she still retained that same spirit of my original painting.

I became so attached to the Cricket cover image that it morphed into the logo for my website, and finally the cover for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

The last thing I have for you is the book trailer for Grace's lovely book.



So what are you waiting for? Enter my contest! Spread the word! This is one of the most beautiful books written for children's literature! Yes, I absolutely mean it. This is a book I wish I had read when I was little, but am so grateful to have shared with my children. And I thank Grace for sharing this book with the rest of us.

40 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds cool. I'll have to check it out. I have some friends with young chilluns.

Cheryl Kauffman said...

Beautiful pictures! That is amazing that she wrote and illustrated the book.
On a side note, do you have any recommendations for middle grade books for my 12 year old daughter? She loved Violet Raines and Magickeepers, and is now reading Savvy. Just looking for ideas what to get next.

Catvibe said...

It sounds like a wonderful story, and I love that she is inspired to draw the images she has written.

C.R. Evers said...

wow! those pictures are gorgeous!

Congrats to your friend!

cindy said...

i entered!! link is on my blog! http://cindypon.com/blog

cindy said...

i also tweeted it and it went onto my facebook page as well!

W.Robinson Mason III said...

I'd love to read this to my nearly 4 year old who hails from China!

Natasha M. Heck said...

This book sounds simply wonderful. I cannot wait to share it with my nieces someday.

Grace Lin said...

Thanks so much, Ellen!!

laughingwolf said...

so cool, thx el :)

elder daughter is a dog, younger a rat... go figger ;)

if grace writes another, would be nice if she made it year of the ox [water buffalo], cuz that's the year my son was born!

Diane Dawson Hearn said...

Gorgeous book trailer. The illustrations are so lovely, with beautiful colors. I WANT it! Can't wait to read the story.

beth said...

I have wanted to read this one since I saw the cover. One of my favorite tales is the Japanese story called Taketori Monogatari, or Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. I have an illustrated version of that book, and the art styles are very similar. Now, reading the description, I want this one even more!

beth said...

PS: I linked! http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/2009/05/contests.html

Adam Heine said...

Sounds like a cool book. I'm in :-)

Sherri said...

Enter me, please! My kids are 10, 7, and 5, and I know they would love it. It looks fabulous. (I may post this on my blog as well, but thought I'd better comment in case I don't get time.)

Demon Hunter said...

Yay! This books sounds wonderful. I would love to read it and share it with my cousins and my niece. I love it when children are interested in reading. :-)

Ello said...

Thanks for all the entries and comments! Contest will run til next week!

Vivian said...

Grace is a wonderful writer and incredible artist. I can't wait to read this book!

Barrie said...

The book looks divine!

Kim Kasch said...

Ohhhhhhh it looks so beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

This book looks lovely.

lindsay eland said...

I'm so excited about this book! My agent is also Rebecca and I've heard such awesome things about Grace's new book! And also, my daughter's name is Gracie! :)

Aniket said...

Been hellua busy lately. You are soon gonna know why. :D :D

Will definitely post about it tomm.
Junior Woodchuck promise. :D

gaby317 said...

Thanks so much! The book looks great and it was interesting to have the early parts of your interview.

please enter me in the contest.

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

gaby317 said...

I posted a link to your contest on my blog's sidebar.

thanks!
gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/

Aniket said...

Just posted a link back to this post. :D

Bosco said...

Cool, Count me in :-)

McKoala said...

How beautiful. Commenting!

Karen said...

Hi, Ello! This is my first time here, but I'll definitely be back. This book sounds lovely, and it's a must-buy to read to my grandchildren.

March to the Sea said...

i'd like a chance to win as well! count me in

Mary Witzl said...

I'm not too late am I? Everyone's been hogging the internet connection AND my laptop, so I can't get around to every blog as quickly as I could before! Include me, please!

I'm drooling at the thought of dim sum for everyone. Wish I could win some of that with a pot of jasmine tea...

Christina Farley said...

Lovely illustrations. I think I've read another one of hers. Something about dragons? My mind is a blank. Enter me. My kids love anything Asian. I also mentioned you on my blog too!

Vijaya said...

Pick me, pick me ... my kiddos have grown up on Grace's books :) and it will be wonderful to have her latest. She is a gem.

Bontemps said...

Sounds like a good read for my brood, the sproglets like a good book. Pics are nice too.

Anonymous said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

What a beautiful book!!! I think my daughter would truly love this :)

Benita said...

This is a beautiful book. I'd love to make it a ppart of my classroom library.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Misusedinnocence said...

This is awesome! I know my son would love it.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

ossmcalc said...

I am a fan of Grace Lin's writing and would really love to have such a beautiful book. I would love to share it with my grandson. Maybe I could also tell him about my trip to Japan and how the Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholars were treated like royalty.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

日月神教-向左使 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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