Ladder to the Moon (Hardcover)
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From Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of former President Barack Obama, comes a lyrical story relaying the loving wisdom of their late mother to a young granddaughter she never met.
Little Suhaila wishes she could have known her grandma, who would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could, Mama says. And one night, Suhaila gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey. In a rich and deeply personal narrative, Maya Soetoro-Ng draws inspiration from her mother’s love for family, her empathy for others, and her ethic of service to imagine this remarkable meeting. Evoking fantasy and folklore, the story touches on events that have affected people across the world in our time and reaffirms our common humanity. Yuyi Morales’s breathtaking artwork illuminates the dreamlike tale, reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us, and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.
About the Author
Maya Soetoro-Ng, a former high school history teacher and university instructor, was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is the maternal half-sister of President Barack Obama. She says Ladder to the Moon, her first picture book, was inspired by her young daughter Suhaila’s questions about her grandmother, Ann Dunham. Maya Soetoro-Ng lives in Hawaii with her husband and two daughters.
Yuyi Morales is the illustrator of Kathleen Krull’s Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, whose accolades included a Pura Belpre Award and a Christopher Medal, as well as the Pura Belpre Award–winning Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. Born and raised in Mexico, she now lives with her family in northern California.
A vision of divine love, a love incarnated in a warm, round, brown-skinned grandmother....Nontraditional spiritual literature for children often falters in the execution; this work fulfills its promise
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A lush, haunting story that brings together a grandmother and her grandchild.…Morales captures the luminosity of both the sky and the people on earth striving and straining to make the world a better place. The endnotes by author and artist add insight into a book meant to be discussed
—Booklist (starred review)
Creation stories, mythology, and legends come together in a story incorporating themes of human struggle, community, and faith. Morales’ stunning digitally manipulated acrylic drawings, showcasing strong yet loving women, have a dream-like quality and do an outstanding job of depicting a caring, culturally diverse world.
—Library Media Connection (starred review)
Beautiful, luminous paintings, with soft edges and gently rounded figures
From a place of bittersweet longing, Maya Soetoro-Ng writes an introspective children’s book that inspires all ages. What we find in Ladder to the Moon are epic images and inescapable stories that connect us through inevitable loss and spiritual understanding.