Adventures Can Exist Anywhere: An Alyssa Moon Book Review


Towards the beginning of the 1950 film Cinderella, her animal friends, including Jaq and Gus, help her sew together a beautiful gown for the prince’s ball. To the tune of “The Work Song”, the seamstress mice turn leftover fabric into an array of bows and frills perfect for Cinderella’s night out. While the film continues on with storylines for Jaq and Gus, what happens to the other mice? Find out in Disney’s latest novel, Delphine and the Silver Needle.

Author Alyssa Moon has always been fascinated by the animal side characters in fairy tales and deeply wanted to give a name to one of her favorites - the seamstress mice.

“The whole world of Cinderella is suffused with magic, so how might this little mouse’s life be impacted by magic?” Moon said. “What if she discovered that her true identity linked her to magic that had flourished long ago? As soon as I had given a name to that seamstress mouse, Delphine was born, and her story flowed out as if it had always been there.”

There were several stages to the creation process, including a year just spent on creating the overall world of Delphine, the system of magic and the overarching storyline for the series. Once all the details were fleshed out, Moon spent a year writing Delphine and the Silver Needle and a year working alongside Disney Publishing to create the book’s look and feel.

“The beautiful art, the layout, the design, the map, all of that - it’s absolutely gorgeous, and it perfectly captures how I had imagined the book…as if the reader had found it on the shelf of an old castle library, just waiting to be discovered,” she said.

Delphine’s story goes like this: She is a young, orphaned dressmaker living in the walls of Cinderella’s chateau when she stumbles upon an enormous secret. She takes it upon herself to uncover the truth about the past and save the kingdom before the evil King Midnight succeeds in harnessing the power of the tailor mice.

Not only is this Moon’s first novel for Disney, it is her debut as an author. The process was extremely rewarding for her as someone who thrives on receiving feedback and notes in order to improve.

“It’s like a puzzle,” she said. “Often, it’s an incredibly complicated puzzle where you only have a few pieces, and no box lid to show you the picture! But the process of sifting through and figuring out the changes that need to be made is like putting the puzzle pieces into place one by one. It’s incredibly satisfying each time you get another puzzle piece to fit just right. So although the process can make me want to tear my hair out, it’s the most rewarding feeling in the world when all of the notes have been addressed and the new draft is sparkling and perfect.”

Delphine and the Silver Needle is action-packed with magic, heart and something that ties the book together: adventure.

“Adventures can exist anywhere,” Moon said. “Sometimes the greatest magic isn’t about spells or wands - it’s about having the courage to chase your destiny against all odds. Each of us is capable of much more than we know.”