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21 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary and moving tale, 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved this book. The story and illustrations weaved an enchanting tale with enthralling mystical and spiritual elements from many traditions across the world. The exquisite illustrations expressed the emotions of the characters so beautifully; they also incorporated so many facets that reveal themselves each time the picture is studied. The narrative touched every emotion; I could hardly bear to turn the page if I suspected something terrible was about to happen, then I read faster and faster caught up in the excitement and exhilaration. However, it is the nature of love in all it's forms that was, for me, the most exceptional the most complex aspect of the book. The description `"I love his gentleness. His kindness."' [p.120] moved me to tears as these were the characteristics that caused me to fall in love with my husband. Ultimately, for me, the ending concerns the liberty love bestows - to remain in a relationship, or to bestow freedom.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem!, 10 Feb 2013
By 
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This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
This book, in a long lifetime of avid reading, is NOT one I shall be passing on to friends and family. It is a treasure, and it is MY treasure! Beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated, it is a gem of a book!
To those who have misgivings about prostitution and drug dealing being mentioned, I can maybe see your point, but do you happily allow your 9-11 year olds to watch Eastenders every evening? They have featured prostitution and drug dealing on more than one occasion, and a lot more. Sadly, life has unpleasant elements, and most children these days are aware of them. Many of the fairy stories we read as children had pretty gruesome elements in, and we weren't scarred for life! Veto parts of this book, if you feel you must, but don't knock it, please? It is magical!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel of a Book, One to Treasure., 11 Feb 2013
By 
V. K. Evans (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
I've known Jackie Morris's picture books and her stunning artwork for a while but I had no pre-conceived ideas about this book - except that it would be beautiful, which indeed it is. I suppose I expected the elegant, lyrical prose but what stunned me was how swept into the tale I was. I read this book in an evening, I couldn't put it down. The tale fresh and bold. The twists and turns are surprising in this re-telling of an old story and I found myself applauding the clever context - the seamless blending of old and new.

Mostly, I loved its tenderness - there's a line in the book , 'My mother gave me no advice, just the means to see in the dark', for me, that line sums it up - its a gift of a mother to a child. I can't say more without giving away the end of the book but the confusion of love, of the paths we choose for ourselves, of the complexities of all our relationships are all in this book, honest and glorious. I want to give a copy to every young woman I love - this book is a treasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale of love and belonging, 10 Feb 2013
By 
P. Gilbey - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully written and illustrated novel for all ages. I loved reading it myself, and can't wait to read it aloud to children. It reminded me of The Snow Queen, in its length and themes and while it is a retelling of a Scandinavian folk-tale, it bears all the hallmarks of Jackie Morris's writing - her sumptuous prose and illustrations, which take up whole double page spreads, shot through with a feeling of loss and yearning for home, and home is not a place but a feeling of belonging. She also always writes showing how the natural world is closely related to the interior landscapes of people - their feelings, their longings and desires - and how we affect the natural world, and how it affects us. But this book is about more than that - it's about love. And how powerfully Jackie draws us into this love story and weaves its magical threads around us until we are caught up in it and can't help but follow the girl as she searches for her bear prince. But how will it all end for her? You will have to read it and find out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book full of precious moments, 11 Mar 2013
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
Myself and my 11 year old daughter are huge Jackie Morris fans, I think we have nearly all her books and love them all dearly just like old friends. We were lucky enough to buy East of the Sun, West of the Moon at its book launch and our copy is signed by Jackie herself. We were beginning to bicker over who should read the book first so it was decided that we would read it together, this is something I hadn't done with my daughter for years and its wonderful. On page 22, Jackie writes of a breakfast which we both yearned for, bowl of deep red cherries, peaches and plums, a jug of warm milk and another of cream, crisp, warm bread and a pot of aromatic tea; so, on Mothers day morning I woke to this very breakfast which my lovely daughter had painstakingly put together as my surprise! It was wonderful, I don't drink tea so coffee was used as a substitute! We have not finished this book yet, we are very choosy when to unwrap the next layer, we may take it with us onto the cliff tops on a crisp windy day, or wait for peace and quiet with the cat in front of the fire, however it may be, we are as excited as a child on Christmas morning to see what happens next, I have said it often but again Thank you Jackie Morris for this sprinkling of magic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
A truly beautiful retelling of an old tale. Thoroughly recommend it for the wonderful prose and utterly stunning illustrations. A little gem of a book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'read aloud' must, 21 April 2013
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
A very good friend bought me my copy of 'East of the Sun, West of the Moon', and it sat unread for a number of months whilst I attended to the needs of my growing baby - moments for repose and reading are few and far between.

After initially whisking through the early pages during some stolen quiet moments it wasn't until aforementioned small child required distraction whilst I spent some quality time in the bathroom (!) that I realized that the true beauty of this book can only be appreciated when reading aloud.

Like a children's picture book the words come to life as they spill from your lips, it reads like poetry - my little one listens carefully, and I'm looking forward to some more quiet moments when I can unravel this tale a little further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate and inspiring new take on an old fairy tale: liquid gold, 24 Feb 2013
By 
Manda Scott (Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
I bought this book for the quality of the illustrations, for the magic that's in them, and then picked it up to read the first page, and found that, an hour or two later, I was still sitting by the fire and had come to the end, with tears in my eyes.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon is an old fairy tale given new life and relevance and magic by Jackie Morris. She takes the indigenous peasant setting and brings it bang up to date by having her 'journeying girl' be the daughter of an asylum seeker, living in near-poverty, in constant fear of the authorities, and with the memories of the state police back home who assaulted her journalist father. When the great white bear comes from her dreams into her home, and promises that all will be well for her family if she will only go with him, she goes. (she doesn't do it just for them, she goes because it's right). There follows a passionate, inspiring journey of a young girl's coming of age as she goes first to the castle of the Bear and then, when he is banished, she goes out into the world (a mediaeval, fairy world,not a modern industrial one) to rescue him from the Troll Queen. In doing so, she meets the North Wind, who loves her and so at the end, she has a choice to make, for her own heart and power. The twist at the end is as perfect as it is unexpected.

What really stood out for me, was the poetry of the prose; liquid gold, poured across the pages that complements perfectly the magic of the illustrations.

It's the kind of thing you could read to your young kids, leave for the older ones to find for themselves, and read yourself, whatever age you are, and be enthralled... I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book and a marvellous tale, 18 Feb 2013
By 
P. Ward "gruffthree" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
Traditional tales bear retelling but it takes skill to do it well and something more than that to do what Jackie Morris has done here, which is to retain all the elements of the original but with a fresh and original twist that makes it speak to us now. This is an enchanting story, and a beautifully-produced book - I am sure it will become a classic. And what a delight to have illustrations in a longer text! This would make a lovely present (even for yourself) but do the right thing and buy it from an independent bookshop or direct from Solva Mill!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars East of the Sun West of the Moon, 18 Feb 2013
This review is from: East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Hardcover)
East of the Sun West of the Moon by Jackie Morris is one of the most beautifully written, illustrated, and presented, books I have read. It is a fairy tale reminiscent of both Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast with a touch of Oscar Wilde and an unexpected ending. Like all the best stories it appeals to age groups of one to a hundred. I am a grandmother and I love this book. Stories that contain elements of truth speak to us on many levels, they touch our roots and open our hearts to an awareness of both the dark and light in life. They tell us we always have choices. It is so important for children to read and hold books like this one. Jackie Morris's evocative paintings easily carry the reader into this story of devotion and searching. Tears flowed as I read the first few pages, tears that turned into fascination and wonder as the story unfolded to its intriguing conclusion which isn't really an ending but just another beginning.

Natasha Hoffman author of Let the Standing Stones Speak and Voices out of Stone.
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East of the Sun, West of the Moon
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris (Hardcover - 7 Feb 2013)
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