Guest reviewer and kids’ book aficionado Lindy Michaels loved Ladder To The Moon (Candlewick, $16.99, ages 4-8) which was “beautifully written by Maya Soetoro-Nq and exquisitely illustrated by Yuyi Morales.” She hopes parents will consider adding this wonderful, moving book to their home libraries. Find Lindy most days sharing her reading tips at BookStar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.
“One cool new evening, Suhaila asked her mama, “ ‘What was Grandma Annie like’?
‘She was like the moon,’ her mother replied. ‘Full, soft and curious. Your grandma would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could.’”
And so begins the hauntingly, beautiful tale of a little girl, who in her dreams visits her grandma Annie on the moon. What little Suhaila learns is the deep humanity her grandmother possessed while here on earth, her compassion and empathy for others less fortunate, the meaning of service, of helping the poor and the powerless and the needy.
If ever there was a time in our history a book like this was needed to tell our children, this is the time. For all the little ones lucky enough to still have grandmothers (and grandfathers, too), encourage them to talk to these elders and learn from their wisdom. And for those who, sadly, do not, share with your children memories of those who have passed, so that one day they will share those stories with their own children.
In the end… “Suhaila slid down moonbeams straight into her bed… Together, those of us left on Earth would plant seeds in soft soil. Grandma Annie would send tides to nourish them and weave a net of love around us all.”
It wasn’t until I finished reading Ladder to the Moon that I noticed, on the jacket cover, that the author is President Obama’s half-sister and Grandma Annie, his mother, also. I am not surprised. If my mother still roamed this earth, I would share this book with her. I know how much she would love it, also. Perhaps my grandchildren will fall asleep one night and visit their grandma on the moon.
The very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.