Friday, June 3, 2011

Review of Ladder to the Moon

I received a copy of Ladder to the Moon in the mail about a week ago off an email I saw from the Clever Girls Collective. The book is written by Maya Soetoro-Ng. Soetoro-Ng is the maternal half sister to President Barack Obama.  Her mother Anne and daughter Suhaila were the inspiration for this book and the main characters.

The book begins with a sweet discussion between Suhaila and her mother about what grandma Annie was like. Her mother talked about her having the same hands as her grandmother. Then when she goes up to bed she began to think about other ways she might be like her grandmother Annie. As she is wondering about all the other ways she is like her grandma Annie a magical ladder appears and her grandmother comes and asks her if she, "wants to go on an adventure?" Of course Suhaila agrees and climbs out the window onto the ladder with grandma Annie.

Their fun adventures begin which boil down to her grandmother very creatively explaining to her about life and how the world works. Then the story talks about grandma Annie and Suhaila discussing prayer and what it is. I thought this was a really neat part of the book as it detailed that all people of all religions pray. Whether that prayer be in a synagogue, a temple, a mosque or a church everyone prays. Not all kids get that view. We are trying to teach our boys that other people might not have our same beliefs but you have to respect people as they are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions.

Next comes more explanation about the circle of life.Suhaila and grandma Annie see a boy being born under the careful watch of his grandmother. Then his grandmother joins them on the magic ladder. The book closes with the little girl being dropped off back in her bed. I really liked this book. I thought it was a very creative way to talk to children about the cycle of life. I also appreciated their explanation of prayer and how people pray different ways.

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