It has been dreadfully cold here in Minnesota. Temperatures have been in the negative numbers--far too cold to be out and about but perfect for reading. I spend part of each evening on my daybed, securely wrapped in my Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer blanket (my little home is never really warm with the thermostat set at 65 degrees so a blanket is necessary), reading. I'm several issues behind on Vanity Fair--I'm reading the November issue now, oops.
I just finished Where the mountain meets the moon by Grace Lin. It is a children's book and absolutely lovely (adults, don't look down your nose at children's books--they are amazing! Try one, please).
Minli is the cherished only child of a couple who work hard but can't seem to make a success of their little farm. Could it be because it is located on Fruitless Mountain? They have little in the way of money, the only money in the house is two brass coins that belong to Minli, but they are devoted to each other. Minli's father is a storyteller and fill the evening hours entertaining her with stories and legends of China--Minli's mother thinks he is filling her head with useless dreams. One day, Minli takes one of her brass coins and buys a magic goldfish, thinking it will add to touch of brightness to their little home. Her mother is upset that Minli spent her money so foolishly on a living being that they will need to feed. Sadly, Minli releases the fish and decides to take their unfortunate situation into her own hands--she will leave home and search for the Man in the Moon who will help her to change their fortune.
While on her journey, Minli meets a dragon who cannot fly, a young boy with a water buffalo, the king of the bright city, a rambunctious set of twins and many others who help her to find her way. Her parents, lost and lonely without their precious child, embark on their own journey of discovery though their journey takes place within the confines of their home.
Each character has a tale to tell, an explanation of why they are what they are or why they live where they live. Each tale adds another layer of interest and beauty to the story. Beautiful, richly colored illustrations add even more to the gorgeous words. Please read this book (and add a comment to tell me what you thought).