Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff
|Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Amy Etherington|
|Summary: In Sun Moon Star Vonnegut tells the story of the Nativity in his own original style that's both delightful and charming. Complete with illustrations, this is a read suitable for both children and adults alike.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 64||Date: December 2016|
|Publisher: Seven Stories Press|
In his own delightfully imaginative way, Kurt Vonnegut tells the story of the birth of Christ in this unique and long out of print children's book. Told from the perspective of the new born infant in his first hours of birth, this charming little story feels different to other children's Christmas books whilst at the same time goes back to the basics in exploring the true nature of Christmas.
Until I read this I never knew Kurt Vonnegut had written a children's book. Famously known for his legendary cult fiction, when I found out that he had written his own take on the Nativity it came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it was a pleasant one nonetheless. As suggested by the title, Sun Moon Star is simple in its execution but still manages to be inventive in its portrayal of The Greatest Story Ever Told and the illustrations by Ivan Chermayeff compliment the narrative wonderfully.
What I find most interesting about this book is that after having read it and then done some background research, the illustrations were drawn first and then Vonnegut wrote the story around them. The illustrations consist of abstract images of the sun, the moon, and a star and they fit perfectly with Vonnegut's prose whilst at the same time allowing opportunity for interpretation. Vonnegut manages to craft meaning in to simple images and give them a powerful message without forcing his ideas on you. The idea is so simple but to use sparse illustrations to represent the first images Christ sees as he opens his eyes to the world lets you revisit the story of the Nativity in a whole new way, and I thought it worked wonderfully.
Vonnegut's writing reads more like poetry than prose but it flows brilliantly. His writing has that familiar Vonnegutian feel whilst simultaneously portraying a unique and forgotten side to his work. His language is a bit mature at times for a children's book, but it would do nicely if an adult was reading it to a child or if an adult just wanted to read it themselves. I thought it was a charming book and I'm glad to see that this forgotten work is back in print and just in time for the holidays. Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If Sun Moon Star sounds like it might interest you then I would recommend The Happiest Man in the World or the Mouse Who Made Christmas by Mij Kelly and Louise Nisbet which is a charming children's story with a traditional Christmas atmosphere.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff at Amazon.com.
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