Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng


Ladder to the Moon 12th April 2011: Walker Books £11.99

This book made me cry!

Like really proper tears. I was so moved. I read it to my 3 and 6 year old and whilst it went straight over my 3 year olds head. it really engaged my 6 year old son and it sang to my heart.

This is the story of Maya and Barak Obama’s  (the author is his sister) late mother. It is also the story of Maya’s daughter who never met her grandmother. In this story Maya creates that meeting and creates a space for her mother to pass on her wisdom and spend time with her daughter. Stories as wish fulfillment are wonderful.

I have a little girl. My own amazing mum passed away last year. They did know each other but I can so resonate with this need to write my mother into being for my daughter to truly know what she was about. Beautifully done here.

The story is about Suhaila who wishes she had know Grandma Annie and how one night Grandma Annie comes down on a ladder from the moon and take her on a journey, On the moon they reach out to the hurting from the Tsunami, from the twin towers,  from poverty. My son recognised and was moved by these images. To deal with such BIG, real tragedies in a childs book is so unusual I was both shocked and moved.Ladder to the Moon

On the moon together the hurting people sing and dance and are healed. The book seems to be about the love the world needs and taking a global view. On the moon we are together we are one..

The book is inspitred by Maya’s mother’s love of storytelling beneath the moon and her love of the Georgia O’keefe painting Ladder to the Moon.

Oh this is a beautiful book, filled with humanity a sense of timelessness and of womens wisdom. I love it!

Yuyi Morales illustrations are rich and sumptous and absolutely filled with expression. A complete delight to read. can be read on many levels so 3-10’s would all enjoy and a lot of sdults too!

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  1. April 17, 2011 / 6:40 am

    I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve burst into tears whilst trying to read to M or J – it’s very hard to keep reading when your heart is contracting and you can’t see the words for tears isn’t it. Sounds like a really lovely book, will be on the look out for it.

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