Tomi Ungerer: Der Mondmann

T as a fairly heavy criticism of humankind that we tend to destroy the things we do not understand Tired of watching the fun of human life unfold on the planet far below the Moon Man hitches a ride on the tail of a comet and comes to Earth Met with fear and suspicion on his landing he is immediately imprisoned only to scape when his waning form allows him to slip free from his chains After a brief interlude at a party the Moon Man is once again on the run from the authorities taking refuge in an old castle belonging to a long forgotten scientist who helps him to get homeOriginally published in 1966 in German as Der Mondmann this classic picture book was according to the In French and German cinemas in 2007 and is due to be launched on DVD in the English speaking world in Fall 2008 Bored and lonely in his shimmering home in space the Moon Man watches the people on Earth dancing and having a good time Just once he thinks he would like to join in the fun So one night he holds on to a passing comet and crash lands on Earth But the unexpected arrival of this mysterious visitor causes statesmen scientists and generals to panic and the Moon Man is thrown into jail brbrAlone in his cell the Moon Man uses his special powers to slip through the hands of the law; it turns out that in accordance with the lunar phases the Moon Man waxes and wanes His left side starts to disappear the Moon Man is his third uarter and as the moon grows thinner and thinner so does the Moon Man Finally he is able to sueeze through the bars of his window and scape Two weeks later and once ag.

I was not a big fan of this book It seems like many kids would not understand the underlying story as well as be upset by the illustrations The setting takes place in a galaxy then on a planet within a jail cell The setting changed on almost very page I am wanting to read this book with a monotone voice rather than Shadow (New Species, excited or sad Caused my child anxistential crisis Under the skin creepy Pessimistic As a child I was captivated by the vibrancy of the artwork in Moon Man Returning to it years later I discovered what a profound inspiration Ungerer had been to me as an artist Revisiting the story as an adult also allowed me to take in it s message on a deeper level I see The bright galloping illustrations are as ffective as any Tomi Ungerer has done This has some of the sting of Dr Strangelove but tenderized the contemporary charisma of Where the Wild Things Are; it's great Exceptionally highly recommended Kirkus Reviews 1967 In this gently satiric fable Ungerer pokes fun at self important adults who are afraid of anything or anyone unfamiliar and reminds us that there is indeed no place like home On its first publication in the US in 1967 at the height of the Space Race Moon Man won the Book Week prize for books for children aged 4 8 and Maurice Sendak described it in Book Week as 'Easily one of the bet picture books in recent years' Since then it has been translated into 12 languages Moon Man will be the next classic Ungerer tale to be turned into a full length feature film following on from the success of the award winning The Three Robbers which was shown.

Ust jacket blurb described by no less an artist as Maurice Sendak as asily one of the best picture books in recent years upon its initial release It s The Gathering (Darkness Rising, easy to see why Sendak held that opinion as Moon Man is an amusingntertaining heart breaking and thought provoking story one which captures the regrettable human penchant for resorting to aggression when faced with the unknown It is also a visually arresting book with Tomi Ungerer s signature artwork so bold and colorful so MongoDB expressive andngaging I really regret that I never Chastity encountered Ungerer s work as a child as I suspect that he would have been a favorite Still there s timenough as an adult to rectify that oversight. Ain fully formed he Experiential Learning enjoys his new found freedom on Earth and dances happily for hours at a party where all the other guests are wearinglaborate costumes and simply think he has dressed up as the Man in the Moon But the police are on his trail and a wild chase nsues brbrFleeing through a forest Moon Man finds a remote castle where he is welcomed by an ancient long forgotten scientist named Doktor Bunsen van der Dunkel who has been working on a space ship for centuries with the aim of flying to the moon Now too old and fat to fit into the completed rocket himself Doktor van der Dunkel asks Moon Man to be the first passenger Knowing that he would never be able to live on Earth in peace Moon Man returns home to his planet happy to stay there forever now that his curiosity has been sated Back on Earth Doktor van der Dunkel finally gets the recognition he deserves for his scientific breakthrough.

Review Der Mondmann

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Jean Thomas Tomi Ungerer was a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books