Hello, friends! Our book today is Moana And The Ocean, written by Heather Knowles and illustrated by Annette Marnat, a companion to the beloved Disney film.
We are introduced to Moana by her oldest friend: the ocean. The ocean has known her since she was a very little girl. She has seen her heart, and knows her spirit. Moana is brave, clever, kind, curious, adventurous and determined. Occasionally, she fails, and that’s okay – what’s important is that she gets back up and tries again. The ocean is so proud of her friend, and cannot wait to see what her Moana becomes.
As we are huge fans of the film Moana, we were looking forward to this one, and it definitely had some great qualities. For one, the art is absolutely gorgeous, capturing both the characters and spirit of the movie as well as the book’s text, and even incorporating a slightly-vintage-Disney style with a Pacific Island feel true to the subject. But while the text captured the character of Moana well, it didn’t have much of a story to tell. With other Disney tie-ins of this series we have read, there was a story that was inspired by the movie, yet had it’s own message and theme. And while Moana is a fantastic character worth celebrating, the book didn’t do much more than list her positive qualities and then abruptly end. However, the moment JJ saw the book, she excitedly squealed “MOANA!” and marveled at the art on every page, and the length was short enough for a very quick read. If you’ve got a Moana fanatic in your house like we do, this is a beautiful treat, but as a stand-alone, it’s a bit lacking. Still, for art and fan-service alone, we’re calling this one Baby Bookworm approved!