A while back, I posted up a review on a Taiwanese movie called Starry Starry Night (check out the review HERE) and I learned that it was based on a storybook. (I think) I also mentioned that I had ordered the book online right away and finally, I received it this week. Chinese New Year probably was the reason that it was delayed but its okay, as long as its here, right?
The story is starts with a few simple words: “Looking up into the stars, the world become very very big…” We see a little girl whose used to live with her grandparents when she was young. After 6 years old, she moved out into the city to live with her parents and she misses her grandfather a lot. Her parents don’t have a good relationship and are either too busy with work to talk to her or always arguing. However, it doesn’t bother her because she has her own imagination and her own world in her room.
When she notices a boy move into the apartment across the street and this boy becomes her classmate eventually, eventually through a course of events they become friends. When her grandfather dies, her world dies and her parents relationship worsen, she decides to run away with the little boy to see the starry sky in the mountains where her grandfather used to live. Here their magical journey begins…
I’ve never been exposed to Jimmy Liao’s books before. They are simple stories or ideas matched with wonderful pictures. The pictures helps us fill in the blanks of the story and that way there are less words to transition between the thoughts of our female protagonist. In the book, the girl and the boy don’t even have a name. No one actually has a name and is only identified by their relation to our main character. Some pages are solely pictures without any words but they express what he wants to say perfectly.
The Starry Starry Night may be a picture story book of sorts. Its a simple read but the meaning behind it is just so much more. I’m not exactly sure that kids would fully understand it but the drawings are colorful at times and mystical at others. He uses black or grey to convey a depressing moment and then brighter colors for more hopeful and imaginative times.
The movie adapted this book quite well to me. They did change some minor details here and there but the really fun parts of the book was put into the movie in their own effective way and I think that already works for me.
Its a storybook so I really don’t have much more to say about it. I read this in Chinese and I’ve heard that its actually not translated into English or other languages (yet?). I did try to translate the book to my boyfriend while showing him page by page and we’re about halfway done for him. I read it entirely already. Although I’m sure that even without really knowing that simple few lines, you will get the idea of the story.
This is my first exposure to Jimmy Liao’s work and I have to say, I really look forward to seeking out more of it. Its relaxing, fun and beautiful to look at. His pictures do a great job of telling the story. The story is full of imagination (just like the movie) and the colors and concepts behind it just blew me away. Its so simple yet there’s something just a little more than that to think about. I love that feeling!