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Imani's Moon

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Imani is a young Maasai girl with a loving mother and a desire to do something great. When she decides she wants to touch the moon, she works hard to reach her goal, even in the face of teasing from the naysayers around her.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Mackinac Island Press (first published October 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Cathy Mealey
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Imani, the smallest child in her African village, has been teased mercilessly by the other children because of her size. Their heartless jabs are just beginning to take a toll on Imani’s self-confidence when her mother tells her the legend of the brave moon deity Olapa. Inspired by a dream in which she stands hand in hand with the lunar goddess, tiny Imani awakens with the desire to do something great, to touch the moon.

In pursuit of her dream, Imani tries to reach the moon by climbing a tall tr
Although the nightly positive reinforcement from her mother encourages Imani to dream big and reach for the star, her ambitions take a daily pounding from the others in her Maasai village. The other youngsters make fun of the little girl, teasing her because of her diminutive size. Still, she keeps reaching for her goals, and although she fails more than once, eventually, she succeeds and gets a reward. Although the book's magical realism may be off-putting to some readers, it allows the story t ...more
The smallest girl in her Maasai village, Imani is often teased by her peers. Inspired by her mother's storytelling, Imani attempts to do something great like the characters in the stories she hears; she sets herself the goal of touching the moon.

An author's note follows the story and gives the reader a little background on the elements of Imani's world. The watercolor and graphite illustrations were finished digitally and do a nice job of blending the epic quality of the stories with the real ev
I absolutely adored this book. Imani is the smallest girl in her village, and for this she is made fun of quite often. She decides she's going to be like the characters in her mother's stories and do something great: she will touch the moon. Despite being ridiculed, Imani perseveres and finally accomplishes her goals.

Set in a Maasai village, this novel shows off the beauty of the East African countryside. Replete with lush jungles and animals of all sorts, Mitchell's gauche illustrations pop th
Age: Preschool-1st grade
Culture: Maasai people of Tanzania and Kenya

An imaginative tale about a girl teased for her smallness but with a perseverance that strives to touch the moon. Brown-Wood also presents a strong mother figure that tells stories of gods and goddesses that inspire Imani to strive for her heart's desire.
Brenda Kahn
Kids will either go for the magical realism in this winsome tale or find it a tad jarring. There's a lot to like here from the spunky, height-challenged heroine to the sweet mother-daughter relationship where nightly storytelling is the routine, to the lively illustrations.
Many readers are misapplying the term magical realism to this book. This is not about mixing "real" with an inexplicable "nonreal", especially not in the Western setting where magical realism often takes place (that term also has roots in lots of Latin American literature).

This book is about storytelling as a powerful tool for transformation. Each night Imani is told a story through her dreams; her mother does not intervene on any of the other children's cruelty, but uses storytelling to ease h
There is something about this magical story that has captured my 5-year-old's imagination. It seems to be a combination of the girl's persistence ("don't give up", he encourages her), the fantasy of gods/goddesses battling, the sheer audacity of touching the moon. Plus, it has great interactions with animals of the jungle, cultural descriptions of the Maasai people of Tanzania/Kenya, and a reference to Anansi the trickster. Highly recommended!

Our copy had a CD with a lovely narration by Maame Ya
Juliana Lee
I love this new picture book! It speaks so gently and eloquently to the young reader. It gives children a story in which faith and determination are equally important in reaching one’s goals.
Imani's mother tells her that she can do anything; but, Imani wants to touch the moon and her friends tell her she'll never be able to reach anything because she's too small. Imani decides to try anyway and finally realizes her dream by using a dance she learns at a Maasai celebration.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well done! Captures kids attention and imagination. Being small. Overcoming adversity. Good background information on Masai rituals. Lots to talk about.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Tale of a Masaai girl working to reach her goal of touching the moon. Positive message.
laura (bookies & cookies)
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute story about believing in yourself filled with cultural stories and mythology from the Maasi tribe in Kenya and Tanzania
Addie Lauver
Imani’s Moon
Plot/Reader Response:
This powerful story is about a young girl, Imani, who desperately wanted to touch the moon. She was a very tiny girl and she was often teased because of her size. Others would tell her she could not do what others could. After all the children continued to say this she began to believe them. Her Mama then said to her that she thought she could do anything but it was Imani that had to believe in herself. Then, she set her out to accomplish her dream of touching th
Patricia Tilton
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
JaNay Brown-Wood’s heartwarming story is filled with hope, ambition and big dreams. Even though Imani is tiny, she is strong in spirit. She endures the teasing of the village children daily. But they don’t deter her. For Imani there are no limitations, only possibilities and dreams to touch the moon. This richly textured story is charming, magical and begs to be read repeatedly. Hazel Mitchell’s cover with Imani’s outstretched arms in front of the big moon is engaging and draws the reader into I ...more
Lisa Newhouse
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imani is the littlest girl in the village. Everyone teases her about her size, but her mother believes she can do anything. When Imani doubts that she will succeed, her mother tells her that she believes in Imani. Imani wakes each morning more and more convinced that she will be able to touch the moon. Because her mother believes in her, Imani is finally able to touch the moon. She comes back with a lovely story to tell. This story about overcoming fear, believing in yourself, and reaching for y ...more
David Burgess
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Imani's Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood: This is a very good story about maintaining hope and confidence when challenged by those who attempt to discourage us because of physical differences (in this story, size was the difference factor). This story also underscores the importance of supportive and encouraging parents in the lives of children. This book has excellent illustrations that give the reader connection with the characters. I particularly like the "Author's Note" that provide a educational sy ...more
This is a book published a while ago, but worth remembering and sharing with children. It's a folktale about a girl who dreams of touching the moon and works hard to fulfill her wish, despite being teased by everyone for being the littlest and unable to do much of anything! Based on several folktales from the Maasai people in Tanzania and Kenya, the story takes Imani in several directions to touch the moon, till she finally finds the right one. There are lovely illustrations of the setting of a ...more
Teresa Edmunds
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Imani is a young African girl who is small for her age and is teased by other children because of it. Her mother tells her stories about the people in the sky, who can be seen in the stars. From her mother’s stories, Imani believes that she can achieve great things. At the end of the story, Imani does something amazing. You’ll have to read the story to know what that is. This is a well-told tale of believing in yourself.
NYC Reads 365
"Little Imani is enchanted by her mother’s stories of the Maasai moon goddess Olapa, who fought and won a great battle against the god of the sun, and Anansi, the spider, who outwits those much bigger than he. “I will touch the moon!,” she announces. Ignoring the taunts of the other village children, strong and perseverant Imani eventually passes her own story of bravery on to her mother (and to us). Don’t miss the legends represented in the constellations in the sky."
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This beautifully illustrated book has a folk tale feel, a small girl is teased by her peers by encouraged by her mother, who tells her a bedtime story based on their folklore. I especially adore the pictures featuring the moon and night sky. Author's note explains the Maasai inspiration for the story. The back cover is plain blue - a missed opportunity for more of Mitchell's lovely watercolors.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a beautiful story about a girl in Africa who dreams of touching the moon. the other kids tease her because she is so small but she believes and perseveres and is able to achieve her dreams.
Edward Sullivan
Lovely story about a young Maasai girl's imagination and determination.
Maria Marshall
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imani encourages us all to hold on to our dreams and reach for the moon. Such a beautiful book.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful picture book. Imani reminds us to never give up on our dreams, no matter what the naysayers might say.
The Styling Librarian
Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell – Interesting folktale about a girl who dreams of touching the moon and works hard to fulfill her wish.
Very sweet with a nice message. Lovely illustrations. Interesting back matter, too.
Kayleigh Muligan
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Imani's moon is a beautiful and motivational story. The main character Imani is the smallest girl in her village who is always teased by other children. Her mama always knew how to lift her spirits with stories. One day, Imani's mom told her a story about the moon god, Olapa. After that, Imani's goal was to be able to touch the moon one day. Imani starts to climb a tree and meets a snake. The snake asks her what she is doing and she replies that she is going to touch the moon. The snake thinks s ...more
Brandi Balzer
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Imani's Moon is a story of a young girl named Imani who is constantly teased about her size. It is starting to negatively effect her self image until her mother tells her a story about the legend of the great moon deity Olapa. She falls asleep that night dreaming of touching the moon and wakes up determined to make it happen. She has many failed attempts and everyone including the village animals make fun of her for it. However, her mother keeps telling her "it will always be impossible until so ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is no other book my grandson and granddaughter have asked me to read again and again and again as much as they have requested and relished this one. It touches something deep within them — and in me.

Perhaps the resonance has to do with the innate human sense of inadequacy, alongside the desire and possibility of reaching beyond our limitations, even in the face of the doubts of others and our own.
This book’s vital message to believe in oneself and one’s dreams despite discouragement, per
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