Review Blog

Apr 05 2019

Nobody owns the moon by Tohby Riddle

cover image

Berbay Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9780994384195.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Friendship, Cities, Adaptation. The quick witted fox has adapted well to life in the city. He has changed his name to Clive Prendergast, and has leant to eat a variety of foods, living in a one roomed apartment in a busy part of the town. He works by day in a factory putting things together, and at night goes out into the streets to look at the sights. He seeks out his friend, Humphrey and finds him sitting disconsolately in a doorway. Humphrey is a donkey and has not adapted as well as Clive to life in the city. He has tried several jobs, but as readers will be able to see, these positions have not proven to be successful. They sit together in the park and Clive notices that Humphrey has a blue envelope in his bag. Opening it he realises that it is an invitation to an exclusive theatre opening night. They attend and are treated to drinks and nibbles beforehand, and find themselves in the most luxurious of seats to watch the play, Nobody Owns the Moon. They laugh and cry during the performance and again find themselves treated to coffee and cake afterwards. Returning home, they are ecstatic about their town and hug each other before going their separate ways.
First published in 2008, this is a wonderful treatise on friendship - of being together, the illustrations detailing the life led by the two animals in the city. The background will delight the readers, and they will be concerned for Humphrey as he does not quite fit in as Clive does. From this readers will perhaps ponder the move to the city by the world's population, looking at how we adapt to life in the city and the problem of homelessness which has followed. Quirky, endlessly fascinating, Riddle always presents a challenge to his readers, making them think outside the box, muse on what makes us human, and look at one of the basic tenets of our existence, the companionship of others.
Fran Knight

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