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Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.
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We have just recently launched our reading theme for the second quarter of 2019. While we are doing an over-arching #WomenReadWomen2019 reading theme, we will be focusing on sisterhood and female bonds in literature from April – June. This book is perfect in highlighting mother-daughter bonds.
Written by JaNay Brown-Wood Illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
Published by Mackinac Island Press (2014)
ISBN: 1934133574 (ISBN13: 9781934133576). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Imani is often teased and taunted by her friends because she is the smallest child in her village. As a faery-sized woman, I can relate very well.
While Imani is ridiculed and scorned by the other girls in her community – yes, girls can be mean and toxic that way – Imani is deeply loved by her mother who tells her stories every night; uplifting tales that made Imani imagine a life different from the one she has.
It is also to Imani’s credit that despite the mockery she often hears from the other girls, she has taken it upon herself to dream the biggest dream of all: she will touch the moon. Naturally, this gave the other girls even more reason to laugh at Imani’s dreams – yet, she refused to give up.
In the Author’s Note, Brown-Wood mentioned that this is inspired by the Maasai people’s cultural jumping dance known as adumu. Various African stories and mythologies have likewise been peripherally woven into the narrative, cleverly packaged under Imani’s mother’s storytelling.
This is a moving story of courage seeded in a mother’s love, and the little girl who knew with a certainty as old as time, that she will touch the skies.
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#WomenReadWomen2019: Both author and illustrator are based in the United States of America.