THE WOMAN IN THE MOON by Jama Kim Rattigan


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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 An embellished retelling--subtitled ``A Story from Hawai'i'' and rooted in Hawaiian mythology--by Rattigan (Dumpling Soup, 1993) of how the woman goddess Hina came to live in her true home in this alternative to the man-in-the-moon concept. Hina, maker of tapa, a kind of bark cloth, is dissatisfied with her demanding husband and the amount of work required in making tapa for the entire village. She chooses to leave the place where so many things are ``kapu,'' or forbidden to women, and journeys up an icy mountain peak and to the hot sun before climbing a rainbow to the moon. The telling of the story is rambling, and even disjointed at times. An emphasis given to the making and use of tapa, skillfully woven into the story, provides insight into a little-known aspect of ancient Hawaiian culture, but doesn't work as a central plot device. As a result, the story falls short of a satisfying outcome. Both tapa-making and the setting provide attractive motifs for Golembe's primitive artwork, deliberately evoking Gaugin, and rendered in gouache with sea urchin purples and hibiscus pinks as delectable as spun sugar. (notes, glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-316-73446-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996


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