When Kate finds the name of a princess abandoned by a river, she promptly throws her own name away and assumes a new identity as the carefree Chiti Lita. But far from being treated as a princess, Chiti Lita is kidnapped by a miserable bear and taken to the Garden of Black and White, a mysterious place where the grass is grey and the flowers are painted by a band of talking goats.
For as long as anyone in the Garden can remember, a deadly war has been waging between the wonderful Darlin De Vurthoope and the elusive Man in the Moon. A tower reaching to the moon is under construction and Darlin vows that as soon as the war is won they will all live as kings and queens.
Captivated by Darlin’s promises, Chiti Lita renounces her old life in favour of a new one in the Garden. She is initiated into the brotherhood of goats and quickly becomes friends with the merry Lucky, simple Lonan and melancholy Noble who is pretty sure he hasn’t always been a goat.
Life in the Garden is simple until Chiti Lita discovers something awful in Darlin’s throne room, and further trouble comes when the real princess arrives looking for her name.
…what Princess Cochiti Solita did not realise was this: It was not her being a princess that was the problem. It was simply the actions of her deplorable parents, the king and queen, which caused the people to treat her as they did. It was her parents she should have disowned, not her name! Goodness me! If you learn only one thing from this story let it be this: never ever give your name away.
The nameless girl ran all the way home to the palace and declared with great glee, “I’m no longer a princess! I’m no longer hateful!”
The king and queen looked at each other in horror and called for the nurse.
The nurse checked the girl over from head to foot and sadly shook her head. “It’s true, Your Majesty,” she informed the king, “her name is completely gone.”
“GONE?!” the king exclaimed furiously. Then he took his daughter by the arm and shook her violently. “What have you done with it?” he demanded.
“I left it by the stream,” the poor girl whispered. “I didn’t want it anymore.”
“You FOOL!” The king tossed her roughly onto the cold marble floor. “You’ve lost your mind!”
“Not her mind, Your Majesty,” the nurse piped up. “Just her name.”
But the king growled and threatened to behead her which sent both the nurse and the poor girl’s reflection cowering into the corner. He continued to rant in a most undignified manner, accusing the girl of severe heresy and lunacy. “You have brought me deep shame,” he said resentfully, narrowing his hollow grey eyes at her.
The nameless girl turned helplessly to her mother, the queen. But the queen simply pursed her lips and looked away.
Bitter disappointment began to drip down the walls like gloomy candle wax. The king’s foul mood burnt his supper and the queen’s hatred soured her wine. And seated at the end of the dining table there was no princess, just a ragged little girl with no name.
After many days of pretending, the king and queen admitted that they no longer loved their daughter. So the nameless girl was banished from the palace, sent away with a small brown case containing nothing more than two ham sandwiches and a tatty old toy bear.
Oh my word I can’t put your book down!! Good job I’m not working!!! — Sharon Cameron
Katie Moonshine was really, really, really excellent – should be on the recommended list for schools instead of all those horrid vampire books. — Gill Cowans
This is the most amazingly charming tale I have ever read. Where on earth did you conjure this convoluted fairy tale from? My children would have adored this and no parent would feel foolish reading it aloud. — Paula Barrett
I honestly can’t find the words to describe this story. Once I started I couldn’t put it down, and am pleased to say I have finished reading it!!! Your character portrayal is excellent, the way the personalities are so diverse and well formed is something you don’t see in many books now days. The air of sensitivity, mixed in with suspense, wonder and heart wrenching emotions made me laugh out loud, as well as feeling extreme dislike for Darlin, straight from the get go, almost as though it felt like I should like her in the opening chapters, but something about her portrayal made me hate her with a vengence. — Luvingsolitude
I know of several adults that would love to see this tale on the big screen – including me! — Kaye Bewley
This is a very well written story, brimming with imagination, flare and wonderful imagery. I love it, and fancy that I could easily get lost, diverted, within its pages. There is lots here to ponder, ideas to make you smile, quirks and twists and interesting thoughts from an original mind. Thank you so much. — Fran Macilvey
This is now one of my favourite children’s books; I really can’t recommend it enough! Hilarious, heart-warming, breathtaking and tear-jerking, How Katie Moonlight got her name should be on every child’s bookshelf. — Poggleplayer