The Children’s Book Review | November 28, 2018
Christina Matula’s Selfie with The Shadow in the Moon
After numerous attempts at taking a selfie, my 7 year-old budding photographer helped me out with these photos in our living room in Hong Kong. I’m mixed Taiwanese, originally from Canada, and have always been curious about other cultures and far off places. Moving to Hong Kong several years ago has allowed me to explore my Chinese cultural roots—I’m particularly fascinated by all the colorful festivals and their associated foods. I was inspired to write The Shadow in the Moon so that I could pass on a little piece of my heritage to my kids. It’s the story of the legend behind the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival mixed in with modern-day values of thanksgiving and uniting friends and family.
Christina Matula’s Shelfie
Although my bookshelf is filled with children’s books to inspire me, many times things go missing and end up in the play room as my children want to keep the books for themselves. One shelf is lined with picture and middle grade books about Chinese culture – legends, festivals, and fiction. The middle shelf holds books touching on festivals and legends from a variety of cultures. It also holds books on writing in general as well as my mooncake squishy (a favourite at school visits) and my jade rabbit lantern (he comes out every Mid-Autumn Festival). The top shelf holds adult and YA fiction, most of which touch on the Asian experience.
Written by Christina Matula
Illustrated by Pearl Law
Publisher’s Synopsis: A unique blend of traditional folklore and contemporary customs brings the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival to life.
Two sisters and their grandmother celebrate a popular Chinese holiday with family. Their favorite part? Mooncakes, of course–along with Ah-ma’s story of the ancient Chinese tale of Hou Yi, a brave young archer, and his wife, Chang’E. A long, long time ago, Hou Yi rescued the earth from the heat of ten suns. The Immortals rewarded him with a magic potion that could let him live in the sky with them forever. But when a thief tries to steal the potion, what will Chang’E do to keep it out of dangerous hands? The sisters are mesmerized by Ah-ma’s retelling and the fact that the very mooncakes they enjoy each holiday are a symbol of this legend’s bravest soul.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Charlesbridge | July 17, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1-58089-746-4
About the Author
Christina Matula is half Taiwanese, but raised in Canada and loves learning about her heritage through legends and festivals. She hopes her stories will spark an interest in Chinese culture for readers of all backgrounds. The Shadow in the Moon is her first picture book. Christina now lives in Hong Kong.
About the Illustrator
Pearl Law is a budding children’s book illustrator. She works with pencil, ink, gouache, and Photoshop, and is the illustrator of Clap Your Hands (Cantata Learning). She lives in England.
Discover more books like ‘The Shadow in the Moon,’ written by Christina Matula and illustrated by Pearl Law, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Chinese, Folklore, and Picture Book; and be sure to follow along with our Selfie and a Shelfie series.