Mango Moon

Albert Whitman & Company. Apr. 2019. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807549575.
Gr 2-4–Nothing was the same since Papi was taken from his work. He had not done anything wrong, he just did not have papers. Siblings Maricela and Manuel try to adjust. However, life starts to change. Mom has to find another job that pays better, the family of three moves in with relatives to lower their cost of living, and the children switch schools. One thing returns: the full orange moon that Maricela and her dad saw the last night they were together. The author, a third-generation Latina and UCLA’s Emeritus Professor of the Department of Social Welfare, knows too well the sociopolitical hardships surrounding Latino families. The picture book’s mature theme is conveyed with unsophisticated first-person prose set in small black font. The Spanish edition of this picture book flows colloquially but leaves aside any vestige of the expressive narrative seen in native Spanish-speaking writers. The plot structure, appropriate for primary grade children, captures the situation of a family relying on predictability. The illustrations emulate the genuine nature of this narrative, using misty secondary colors that move naturally and support the prose beyond its words. One element persists over the pages: an orange pillow, an orange shirt, an orange pencil, and the full orange moon that comes back at the end of the story.
VERDICT With simple vocabulary and prose, this picture book uses an age-appropriate narrative to introduce readers to the heartbreaking reality of many children. Ideal for public libraries and elementary school educators who can use this book as a read-along in a social studies unit.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing