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There is no other book my grandson and granddaughter have asked me to read again and again and again as much as they have requested and relished this one. It touches something deep within them — and in me.
Perhaps the resonance has to do with the innate human sense of inadequacy, alongside the desire and possibility or reaching beyond our limitations, even in the face of the doubts of others and our own. “Imani’s Moon” is a book, at once aspirational, affirming and victorious, all in the context of a relationship characterized by unconditional love.
This book’s vital message to believe in oneself and one’s dreams despite discouragement, perceived limitations and the criticism of others is a much needed and beneficial one.
The book is beautifully illustrated, colors bold, images and faces compelling, setting intriguing. A total gem!
Don’t give up, we are told by those who would encourage us. But what if we strive for the impossible? Imani, a tiny Maasai girl in an African village, wants to touch the moon. At first, Imani only wants to achieve something “great” to counteract taunts children throw at her. They laugh at her size. They call her ant and Imani the Tiny. They tell her she’ll never achieve anything. (In fact, they are prime examples of bullies, and this lovely book could open important dialogues at home and in classrooms.) Each night Imani’s mother tells her stories of encouragement. “A challenge is only impossible until someone accomplishes it,” she says. The tale of Opala, the moon goddess, and Imani’s ensuing dream afterwards inspire her to literally reach for the moon. All she wants to do is touch it, but her various attempts to get to it by climbing, by flying, etc. prompt more jeering from the bullies—and from the animals as well. Like all important stories for children, Imani solves her own problem. I love how she is galvanized by her culture’s tradition of the jumping dance. The element of magical realism is deftly handled by Brown-Wood, making it easy to suspend disbelief as Imani jumps her way to the moon. And while this is a “don’t give up” story, the lesson of persistence is never didactic. Mitchell’s jewel-toned watercolor and graphite illustrations capture the magic.
This book was used as part of a community service project to bring diversity awareness to children through stories. I love how the author incorporates cultural elements in a way that is engaging to children.
Love this inspiring story about a little girl who has to persevere to make her dreams come true. Her mother’s words play a key role. Lovely images, sweet tone about overcoming in Kenyan tribe. Met the author who is a passionate advocate for children’s literacy.