Nonni is far away. Nonni is on the other side of the world. Beanie misses her very much and wants to be in contact every day – how will she solve the dilemma?
Title: Nonni’s Moon
Author: Julia Inserro
Illustrator: Lucy Smith
ISBN: 9781947891005 Language: English
Themes: future, cause and effect, human impact
What’s it about?
A little girl is heartbroken to be living on the other side of the world where she is unable to see Nonni every day. One night she comes up with an idea to stay in contact with Nonni every single day – by sending messages with the moon each night.
The text typeface varies in the book from the standard text to using some more adventurous ones to convey movement, feeling, and emphasis. The story is well paced and allows for opportunities for further exploration (see more below in My Thoughts). The illustrations are just gorgeous and families who multiracial will find this book relatable.
The cover is just gorgeous but after reading the book I was left confused as to its connection with the book. The name of the child is Beanie – read more below.
My first impression of this book was the beautiful cover – the moon takes centre stage and really draws you in to want to read the book. But (you know that’s coming because I mentioned it above) I was confused after reading the book as to who the two children on the cover are – I’m assuming the taller (based on the hair) is Beanie but she only had two younger twin-siblings so…hmmm.
Okay, I mentioned the name of the main character being Beanie. I’m guessing this is a bit of a nickname/pet name but for me it just didn’t sit right. Now you need to bear in mind that I’m the type of person who quit reading the fantasy genre because I got so frustrated with having to stop and decipher a made-up name every second paragraph. I think in this case I would have connected more to Beanie if she’d had an actual proper name but this will come down to personal preference in the end.
It’s really great though to see a multiracial family portrayed in a picture book because this is actually the first time I’ve seen one this year. The other family aspect I enjoyed was the interaction between not just parent and child but also with the Nonni (grandmother) and granddaughter. It’s a very heartwarming aspect of the book.
This book also has the potential to open up discussion about ways in which we communicate – for Australian teachers looking at the past, present, and future in history there is the potential to tie that in with the class. Possible further extension could also be to do some STEM activities around how each student in the class would solve such a dilemma.
Additionally this book could be used to look at family history and structures to make a solid Text-to-Self connection with the book. It would be interesting to even graph how many children in the class have family that live elsewhere.
A bonus though for this book is that you can get some very cool matching colouring-in sheets over on the author’s blog by signing up to her mailing list. The target age for this one is perfect for colouring pages so don’t forget to hop on over and get yours.
Anyway, you can check out the trailor below to see a bit more of the book including the characters and storyline below.
Overall, this book definitely has an audience with parents who may be in the Defence Force or are FIFO workers or families who live in different towns/states/countries. I think that feeling of distance is one that needs to be talked about and for kids to know it is okay to miss family you love and the importance of staying in touch.