Another picture book that touches on the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is Your Moon, My Moon by Newbery Award Winner, Patricia Maclachlan, and illustrated by Caldecott honor recipient, Bryan Collier; Simon and Schuster 2011).
This story is told through the grandmother’s voice. The grandmother lives in New England while the grandchild resides in Africa. The descriptive narrative takes the reader back and forth between the two locations while simultaneously showing the bond between the two family members. The illustrations provide hints that the grandmother is planning to visit her grandchild. The ability to see the moon in both places is another element that ties the two together. It is a source of comfort for both.
Many children can relate to the theme of separation from a loved one. The tender prose and the realistic pictures allow children to easily connect to this universal theme of not seeing family members on a daily basis. The descriptions of life in North America and Africa can also be compared and contrasted using a Venn diagram. The moon plays a prominent spot as a common feature to both places.
Patricia MacLachlan is the author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, the winner of the Newbery Medal. Other books authored by Patricia include Skylark and Caleb’s Story, Edward’s Eyes, The True Gift, Waiting for the Magic, and White Fur Flying. In this particular story Patricia is able to use her personal life as a resource. Her granddaughter lives in Africa.
Bryan Collier is an accomplished author and illustrator. He was the author and illustrator of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning book, Uptown. He also was awarded Caldecott Honors for the books Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, which was also a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book; Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, which received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, and Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill.
Like most well written multicultural picture, Your Moon, My Moon can be used as starting point for numerous discussions and activities.
- relationship between relatives- grandparents and grandchildren
- being separated from loved ones
- traveling to visit relatives
- geography- different continents and different climates
- background information- New England and Africa
- character perspective- adult vs. child
- illustrations and their effect on the text
- What role should illustrations play in a picture book?