MOONSONG

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Around the same time, a group of elders declares that the villagers should stop singing. The reason, they say, is that singing attracts dangerous animals from the nearby jungle. When the singing stops and the moon is gone, the sounds of beasts grunting, growling, and bellowing make all the villagers quiver with fear—all the villagers, that is, except for Fulki. Fulki is secretly friends with a tiger, whom she regularly plays with in the jungle. When Fulki tells the tiger that the elders have outlawed singing to protect the villagers from wild beasts, the tiger is puzzled. After all, the tiger is both a beast and very well behaved. The tiger then confesses that he, also, has lost his moon and that every night he sings to try to bring it back. The tiger then teaches Fulki to sing for the moon. Their lesson leads to some wonderfully surprising results. The book’s lyrical text makes great use of devices like onomatopoeia, rendering the story a delight to read out loud. In the beginning, the plot is difficult to follow: It is unclear whether the elders outlaw singing because the moon has disappeared or because they are afraid of wild beasts or both. The fanciful illustrations loosely make use of Eastern motifs, but it is not clear where the book is set geographically. Human characters have brown skin and purple hair.

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