Title: Imani’s Moon
Written by: JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrated by: Hazel Mitchell
Published by: Charlesbridge, Oct. 14th. 2014
Themes/Topics: Maasai, being little, big dreams
Suitable for ages: 6-9
Fiction, 32 pages
Awards: winner of the NAESP Picture Book Competition
“Look at tiny Imani!” the other children teased. “She’s no higher than a lion cub’s knee!”
Imani is a tiny girl in a great tribe, who is constantly mocked about her diminutive size. Fortunately her mama and she believe in Imani. The Maasai tribe, as with all African tribes I have known, have many stories and mythologies about their culture and making sense of their world that they pass on orally from one generation to the next. Imani’s mother carries on this tradition by telling Imani of Olapa, the moon goddess of Maasai mythology, and of Anansi, the spider. After a day’s teasing, these stories recited by her Mama are a source of comfort and encouragement and continue on in Imani’s dreamlike and daily choices.
This story is all about the perseverance and faith of a little girl, who touches the moon despite her peers’ teasing and wild animals like Bundi the Owl and Nyoka the Snake discouraging her from her quest. It is a story of great courage and the beyond-the-natural of many great African stories.
Why I like this story:
It reminds me of my years among different tribes in Africa – the huge night skies (like nowhere else I have been) and the moon, the stories, Imani’s pet goat, the faith and courage…. It is a beautiful story that will give any reader a belief in themselves and the power of story, too. They will be jumping for their own moons. Hazel Mitchel’s illustrations are packed with authentic details, deep colors, great movement (see spread where Imani says she will catch a ride on a beetle) and mystical moon-spreads! This is a book for any bookshelf or maybe coffee table.
“A challenge is only impossible until someone accomplishes it.”
A Teacher’s Guide of IMANI’S MOON created by Marcie Coleen will be available in November.
Check out this interview last Monday on Miss Marple’s Musings with the author and illustrator of Imani’s Moon. And please enter the give-away below.
PS If the rafflecopter doesn’t show immediately for you, refreshing the page should work!
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.