Imani’s Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday and GIVE-AWAY

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imaniTitle: 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.”


Take some different Anansi books, such as the following, read and create your own Anansi stories!                                                                                                                                 Anansi The Trickster Spider: Volumes One and Two                                                      Story, A Story                                                                                                                    Anansi Told By Denzil Washintgon

A Teacher’s Guide of IMANI’S MOON created by Marcie Coleen will be available in November.

Book trailer by Hazel Mitchell

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

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31 Responses to Imani’s Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday and GIVE-AWAY

  1. Thanks so much for making Imani the Friday Perfect Picture Book! xx

  2. The beauty of inner strength, beautifully brought to life!

  3. I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about this book, and I look forward to seeing it in person. Thanks for the info here!

  4. I’ve already fallen in love with the book through your interviews of JaNay and Hazel. 🙂

  5. Thank you for introducing me to this book–it looks beautiful and inspiring!

  6. Damon Dean says:

    What a beautiful book…the title is like a soft quiet ascent, like the big moon rising into a black sky. Determination tied to a dream seems to be beautifully pictured in this book. What could be more perfect for kids today.

  7. Hazel does an outstanding job balancing and blending the details of Imani’s real and imaginary worlds. Or *are* they imaginary? There’s something new to notice each time I re-read it. Nice review Joanna!

  8. Maria Marshall says:

    What an beautiful book and excellent video. Thank you for highlighting this book as your Friday Perfect Picture Book. I can’t wait to get this book.

  9. It’s a beautiful story. (tried a few times but the rafflecopter doesn’t work for me)

  10. Catherine says:

    It sounds beautiful, Joanna. We all need courage.

  11. rhythm says:

    This story sounds really lovely. But I’d like to hear the story about your years with the African tribes!

  12. Erik - TKRB says:

    This sounds great! 😀

  13. Keila says:

    So true Joanna. Reminds me of the Maasai I met in my travels in Kenya. Hazel nailed those illustrations!

  14. I love Imani’s Moon. Beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations, Hazel! Am giving it to a grandchild for Christmas.

  15. Krista says:

    I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations, Hazel. Thank you, Joanna.

  16. Sounds like a beautiful story. You’ve got me curious about the “spread where Imani says she will catch a ride on a beetle”. The cover is gorgeous!

  17. Oooo. This looks really good. I am a fan of Hazel’s illustrations!

  18. This looks like a wonderful story. Thanks for reviewing it.

  19. JaNayBW says:

    Your review and all of these comments made me smile! Thank you so much for the lovely words! I certainly hope everyone enjoys and is inspired by Imani! Thank you again Joanna for featuring IMANI’S MOON on your fabulous blog! 🙂

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