Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Ladder To The Moon

Ladder To The Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng
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May 06, 11

bookshelves: childrens, fiction, picture-books, reviewed
Recommended for: those who’ve had an older family member die &/or are interested in inter-generational sharing
Read on May 06, 2011

I read this book because I’m a fan of Yuyi Morales's picture book illustrations. Here, as in other books, they’re large, lush, lovely, and they fit this story perfectly.

The story is open to interpretation, I think. It’s about inter-generational sharing, death, personal development, having strength, healing and helping heal others, and more.

The author’s and illustrator’s notes that are in the back of the book are particularly enlightening as to how and why this book was created, and they both touched me emotionally. I’m very grateful they are included.

I felt warmly enveloped in the pictures. The story was slightly more problematic for me. I do appreciate that room is left for readers/listeners to take it many ways, in a manner that makes sense for each of them. But, for me, it was a tad too religious/spiritual for me to fall in love with it. As I was reading, I also was worried about where it was going and whether the young girl was in grave peril, but I need not have worried; there is a lovely and benign ending to this tale. Some might take solace in it. For me, it’s all about the pictures.

I did appreciate the messages of peace, resilience, and connectivity. I think the book might have special meaning for young children who’ve had a grandparent or other older relative die, someone they were attached to or someone they’d never known, though I don’t think it would have resonated with me, but I admit I have unusual beliefs. It could also work as a fine springboard for discussions: about making a difference, about dreams, imagination, about helping others, and about death and maybe about life after death. It’s a lovely granddaughter & grandmother story and daughter & mother story. Re the latter, I loved that it’s implied the mother will believe her daughter’s experience and will listen to what she has to share. There’s a lot to like in this book.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos This does look like it will be a beautiful read.


Lisa Vegan Crystal wrote: "This does look like it will be a beautiful read."

I can recommend everything by this illustrator!


Lisa Vegan And, thank you, Crystal! When I first shelved it, it wasn't in my library's computer system, but now it is, so I was able to put a hold on it just now!


message 4: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos Lisa wrote: "And, thank you, Crystal! When I first shelved it, it wasn't in my library's computer system, but now it is, so I was able to put a hold on it just now!"

Great! Can't wait to hear what you think.


Lisa Vegan She's so used to painting Hispanic characters. ;-) I should probably reread too. I loved the pictures but my mind was not on that issue. Despite who it was by and sort of about, I took it as fiction, that the book was inspired by but not about... Does that make sense?


message 6: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Great review, Lisa! Glad you found it so worthwhile. I saw it on the bestseller lists...


Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "Great review, Lisa! Glad you found it so worthwhile. I saw it on the bestseller lists..."

Well, I don't know if you'd agree with me or Abigail or neither of us. I assume it's on the bestseller list because the author is Obama's half sister; they share the same mother. Also, the illustrator is getting popular but it's probably more the former.


message 8: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Yeah, it's probably because of the Obama connection.


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