The Moon Jumping: a tale of patience and friendship

by Tajnim Imami

The young Bangladeshi author Sabrina Karim’s The Moon Jumping is a delightful little children’s book that bravely takes on the struggles of friends and foes, victory and loss, triumph and sacrifice, all under the guise of fantasy. The protagonist, a young boy named Sammy, meets the kind and confident bull Moo at his window one night and it changes his entire perception of what is possible. On that night, Sammy attends the Cownival, witnesses the spectacular moon jumping competition and meets a colourful array of characters both benevolent and evil. Through the ups and downs of the story, the author taps into the realm of children’s fantasy where anything is possible with grit, faith and a little help from friends.

The characters of the moon jumping have beautifully fleshed out personas that carry the story on with a steady plot and clear principles. Young Sammy comes to understand the meaning of true friendship from Moo’s friends Friesiana, Arado and Horro as they never fail to come to Moo’s rescue. Oxy, the arch- nemesis of Moo is as jealous and unrepentant as they come. Yet, Moo turns out to be not only a jovial bull with a great goal, but he is also a benevolent and patient creature who teaches Sammy the value of having a calm, collected attitude in times of trouble. His refusal to be vengeful towards Oxy is exemplary. Sammy, on the other hand, emerges as a bright child who never gives up even when it seems like all hope is lost. Through the bizarre yet exciting journey Sammy takes with Moo, he not only grows as a person but it also broadens his imagination and fuels his aspirations to do the impossible.
Despite the subject matter, the book is written in mature yet light language with an easy flow. The vivid descriptions of the book lends it that much more realism where going to a Cownival to watch your friend jump over the moon seems as common as attending any other fest. The rich fantasy world woven by the author boasts spectacular ideas of aspirations and adventure. The Cownival is a great big gathering of wonderful bovine characters centred around the moon jumping competition facilitated by the curious Magnamobilitus. Those who win the competition receive the prized title of being a Cattabell Laureate. All that and more come to life as the story unfolds against the menace of Oxy and his group of thugs as they attempt to prevent Moo from making his hat trick of being a three time moon jumping champion. Throughout the story, the author maintains a brisk pace with a mastery over smooth and pleasant language that is enjoyable for both adults and youngsters.
Sabrina Karim’s endeavour is a rare feat of literary accomplishment in Bangladesh that is sure to be a trendsetter in the field of children’s literature. Her astute observation of children’s mind and her technique of bringing it to life with all its glorious fantasy make her writing a source of great wonder and entertainment.

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