“LADDER TO THE MOON,” by Maya Soetoro-Ng, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Candlewick Press, April 12, 2011, $16.99 (ages 4-8)
In art, you can find texture everywhere. It is found in the paint, paper and images an artist conveys. Books, too, are textured in the words, hidden meanings and imagination of an author.
In “Ladder to the Moon” artist and author textures combine to make a beautiful whole.
Grandma Annie died before Suhaila was born. Suhaila wishes she could have known her, and one night, she gets the chance. A golden ladder appears at her window with Grandma Annie attached to it, offering a great adventure. And together, they make their way to the moon.
After making themselves comfortable on the moon, the two look back at the Earth. And if they listen closely, they can hear voices. They hear the troubles of the Earth and set out to help, building bridges and bonds between people. They hear prayers for peace and see the strength of an old woman. Soon it’s as if the moon is embracing the whole world.
The first thing you notice with “Ladder to the Moon” is its illustrations. They are beautiful and it’s clear that a lot of thought and compassion was poured into them while being created. There’s a whimsical almost folk quality to them that plays well within the dreamlike quality of the text, which calls to mind stories passed down through generations.
“Ladder to the Moon” graceful text and imagery make it the perfect choice for a bedtime story.
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