The Man Who No One Loved


Children - Fable
36 Pages
Reviewed on 11/02/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Music is an expression of all kinds of moods: happy, sad, and so much more. It is a language that speaks to the soul in multiple ways. Music is also full of magic. Eleanor’s town loves its music and Eleanor, with her cherished silver flute, leads the villagers on with her joyful music. There is lots of celebration and dancing when Eleanor is playing her flute. However, there is one man who lives just outside the town who no one seems to love. He’s very sad and lives all alone. Eleanor comes upon him one day and joins him at his campfire. He doesn’t talk, but when she plays her flute he gives her a very sad smile. She has touched another soul. When she returns to town and plays the same tune, a little sadder than her usual lively tunes, the adults don’t understand, but the children do, and they find a new way to dance to this sorrowful tune.

Phaedra Moon’s picture book story, The Man Who No One Loved, is a little different and somewhat sad, but it also speaks to the soul the way nothing else can except music. The story is told in simple language for young readers to easily follow along. The text is presented in different fonts and swirls around the page in magical, musical ways (there’s even some musical notation on some of the pages). The colorful illustrations are full of vigor and life, happiness, and, toward the end, sorrow. The story reads like a parable, a fairy tale, a legend, much like the oft-repeated and re-written story of the Pied Piper. I loved the connection to music and, even though some of the lines were very abstractly laid out on the page and a little difficult to read, I loved how musically the words flowed across the page. A beautiful story full of love and compassion and the soulful power of music.

Deborah Lloyd

The man who no one loved lived at the edge of the town where the green grass was shriveled and the earth was cracked and gray. The blacksmith’s daughter, Eleanor, loved to play her silver flute. She played most nights for the town’s many dances and celebrations. She often wondered why the man who lived outside the town never visited and if he was lonely. One day, she visited the man who shared compassionate sorrow with her. She played her flute for him. In the children’s book, The Man Who No One Loved, crafted by Phaedra Moon, a wise tale is told.

This children’s book is delightfully unique in many ways. The text contains many words that are typically beyond a child’s usual vocabulary and it is a wonderful way to introduce new words, sometimes with subtle meanings. The text is also printed in wavy lines, adding to the whimsical, yet meaningful messages embedded in the tale. The artwork by Norville also illustrates these qualities. Eleanor’s bold venture to meet the man who lived at the edge of town delivers messages about visiting mysterious, untapped emotions that lie within each person. Author Phaedra Moon has penned a delightful story in The Man Who No One Loved that contains a treasure trove of concepts that children – and parents – can revisit over and over again. This is a book to be explored as new events, especially those involving loss and sorrow, appear in a child’s and a family’s life. Joy and sorrow are part of every life and can be met with courage and understanding.

Natalie Soine

The Man Who No One Loved by Phaedra Moon is the story of a man who lives at the edge of town where the area is lifeless and desolate. The man declines invitations from the friendly townsfolk and has no friends or family. The blacksmith’s daughter, Eleanor, loves playing her flute when walking around town and at celebrations. Eleanor is a beautiful girl and all the boys want to dance with her but she prefers to play her music which makes the boys jealous of her flute. The adults are impressed with Eleanor’s musical talent and proud of the fact that she did not run after boys. Eleanor wonders about the man who lives on the other side of town. One windy day she is blown to the end of the road where she meets the man and something magical happens.

What a lovely story, eloquently written and beautifully illustrated. It is a pleasure to read about someone who is not afraid to live his life just the way he wants to and does not feel obliged to follow the rest of the flock. The story teaches children that we have no right to judge people who are different from us. I like the fact that the story is set in a village where children feel safe to play outside as we used to and that such places still exist. The villagers do not isolate themselves; instead, they dance and play music together in their village. The Man Who No One Loved by Phaedra Moon is an enjoyable story that is highly recommended for all children.