Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Cassandra Golds
Illustrator:  Sophie Blackall 
For ages 10 and up
Random House, 2006   ISBN: 978-0375833953

When Clair-de-Lune was just a little baby her mother, a famous ballet dancer, performed a fabulous dance which was astonishing in its beauty. As she made her last moves La Lune, as she called, tried to say something and then she died. It was said that she had died of a broken heart for she had not been allowed to love where she wished. Claire-de-Lune had never spoken after her mother’s death and under the strict eye of her grandmother she had become a ballet dancer like her mother before her.

Now sad and always silent, the pale and thin girl lets her dance speak for her. Alone and friendless Clair-de-Lune spends her days either in the attic room with her grandmother who thinks that dance is the only thing that matters, or she is at her dance lessons.

Then one day Clair-de-Lune meets Bonaventure, a mouse who loves to talk, and who dreams of founding a dance school for mice. He quickly befriends Clair-de-Lune and he takes her to a hidden monastery which lies somewhere in the peculiar house in which they live. Here Clair-de-Lune meets a monk who encourages her to try to find out why she does not speak. The quest terrifies Clair-de-Lune but she is a determined young woman and she presses on, digging deep into her own fears and into her past until the answer at last presents itself in all its simplicity.

This is a truly magical story which is about dreams coming true, the power of love, true friendship, and the meaning of happiness. For so many of us true happiness is illusive and we do not realize that we do not have it until that moment when we allow ourselves to think about it. Clair-de-Lune’s Grandmother does not even pretend to seek it anymore and she has done all she can to deny her granddaughter the chance to have happiness in her life. Thankfully Bonaventure comes along and his friendship changes things for Clair-de-Lune. He gives her the chance to find that one thing that has been missing from her life all along.