by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
Mackinac Island Press, 2014
Children’s Book of the Year, Principal’s Award
NAESP Children’s Book of the Year Award
2014 Mighty Girl Book for Young Readers
2015 Reading Is Fundamental – Multicultural Book
Imani’s Moon inspires young girls to reach for their dreams. This is my pick for the best picture book for girls!
Set in Africa, Imani, the smallest girl in her tribe, is teased by the other children. She is told, “…you’ll never accomplish anything!” At night her mama lifts her spirits with stories. One story was of Olapa, the goddess of the moon who fought a great battle against the god of the sun and triumphed. Imani dreams of doing something great like Olapa and decides she will “touch the moon.” The others laugh when Imani announces her dream, yet they follow her. For two days she attempts two creative ways to touch the moon, but they fail. Greatly disappointed, she returns home where young warriors were performing the adumu, the jumping dance. Inspired, she knows that’s how she will reach the moon.
Beautifully written and illustrated Imani’s Moon is rich with love, bold colors, and one young girl’s determination. The story ends with Imani telling her mother a story, The Tale of the Girl Who Touched the Moon.
When I read Imani’s Moon to a very active third grader, she sat quiet for the whole story. When I brought it back later to re-read, she ‘read’ it to me—from memory! Imani’s Moon is a powerful story.