Sing to the Moon
By Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, illus Sondra van Doorn
Format: HC, 40 pages
Age Range: 5–9 yrs / Grades K–2
Publisher: London: Lantana Publishing, 2018
A little Ugandan boy dreams of reaching the stars and then going Mars. On a rainy day at his grandfather's house, he is brought down to earth with a bump. Can he find magic a little closer to home?
"A young boy and his jjajja share memories and wishes in this tender tale set in Uganda. Have you ever wished to 'ride a supernova straight to Mars' or travel to the spice markets of Zanzibar or ride a crane to a large feast? This young Ugandan protagonist awakes from these very dreams to dark clouds and rain. The boy and his grandfather spend the day doing such chores as packing peas, clearing wet bamboo leaves from the veranda, and cleaning the tilapia for a fish stew. With every task, Jjajja shares stories: about a childhood friend and fishing trips with his father. And after dinner, Jjajja shares his love of books filled with beloved tales of African kingdoms. Unfolding in rhyme, Isdahl's tale amply demonstrates how sharing stories can make even a rainy day full of chores an adventure. Van Doorn's illustrations capture the story in muted grays, browns, and blues. The stylized typeface gives a touch of texture, and the characters look almost like stick figures with their round heads and thin limbs. Details include a small white dog who joins in each activity with understated whimsy. This gentle bedtime story is rich in Ugandan culture and universal nostalgia as it celebrates a boy's great love for his grandfather."―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author:
Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl was born in the United States to Ugandan parents. For more than ten years, she has worked in international development in East and Southern Africa.
Sandra van Doorn was born in France and now lives in Australia. She attended art classes at Emily Carr University in Vancouver before embarking on her career as a children's illustrator.