Elephant On The Moon – book review

Written and illustrated by Mikołaj Pasiński and Gosia Herba

Published by Centrala ISBN: 978-0-9933951-2-3

Review by Allie Oldfield

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Limited colour palettes have become quite a favourable design quirk in children’s publishing over recent years, simple yet striking, choosing only a few colours can lead the eye around the page and bring certain elements to attention. Elephant On The Moon by Gosia Herba and Mikołaj Pasiński offers a bold, contemporary cover that uses a few colours to intrigue and catch the eye. The strange connection between a girl in red star-filled glasses and an elephant on the moon baited my curiosity, proving it’s effectiveness as a cover.

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The story begins with an astronomer (specifically named a ‘lady astronomer’, which I found a tad unnecessary to differentiate) who has an intense fascination with the moon. This then leads her to discover an elephant that has made the moon its home, and her struggle to convince her peers of its existence proves nigh impossible until she devises a plan. The illustrations by Herba have a cubist influence to them that complements the limited colours, and the compositions of the illustrations themselves are well designed to lead the eye across the page. The design duo utilise negative space frequently to enhance the impact of the illustrations, and this in turn works well with the text which is always thoughtfully placed.

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Herba also displays a skill at portraying diverse and intriguing characters, which make the busy crowd scenes in the book a lot more engaging. However there are elements of the story that are left unexplained and I think children will struggle with finding the intent or moral to this story, which is a shame as the illustrations are so carefully thought out.

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Overall I think Elephant on the Moon is a charming story filled with striking, contemporary illustrations that will grab your attention but may leave some feeling puzzled by the content. Nevertheless I’m looking forward to seeing what this duo will come up with next.

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21st March 2017
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