Please welcome authors Laura Roettiger and Susanna Leonard Hill to Dynamic Book Duos– a blog featuring two books that pair together in a meaningful way along with coordinating educational activities to strengthen reading skills. This week’s Dynamic Book Duos pairing focuses on patience, imagination, and creativity!
PERFECT PAIR: Patience! Imagination! Creativity!
Aliana Reaches for the Moon written by Laura Roettiger and illustrated by Ariel Boroff and Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli both feature our Moon and focus on the valuable skills of patience, imagination, and creativity.
Book 1: Aliana Reaches for the Moon
ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON is the story of a young girl, Aliana, who noticed the brightness of the full moon. She wants to create something special for her brother’s birthday using the brightness of the full moon so she sets to work on a secret project. During the lunar month she experiments with light and reflection until the moon is full again. Gustavo must wait for his surprise to be ready. Her parents see the mess, but they too, must be patient with their creative daughter. family relationships and a love of exploring add layers to the story. Will her experiment work? Back matter explaining the phases of the moon and that the moon never changes shape, only the amount of light reflected from the sun makes it appear to change.
Book 2: Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship
MOON’S FIRST FRIENDS: One Giant Leap For Friendship tells the story of the Apollo 11 moon landing from the moon’s point of view. Throughout history, the lonely Moon watches life on earth from far above. She sees animals and people and wishes they would come visit and be her friends. But no one seems to notice her or appreciate her beauty. Even when the humans begin to experiment with transportation, they show no signs of coming her way. Patiently, she waits and hopes that someday they’ll figure out a way to visit her, and then, one day, her wish comes true!
Themes of friendship and patience add layers to the story, which also includes facts about the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. In addition, there is nonfiction back matter about the phases of the moon, the Apollo 11 mission, space suits, and rockets, as well as 2 QR codes you can scan with your phone to hear the actual 1969 NASA countdown to blast off and the actual voice of Neil Armstrong coming all the way from the moon as he says, “That was one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”
1. Using the Phases of the Moon Coloring Page (also available on Susanna’s website – see link below) and the page from Aliana Reaches for the Moon where Aliana and Gustavo are baking and Aliana points to the calendar (page below), what does the moon look like?
2. What does the moon look like at the end of Aliana Reaches for the Moon when she shares her surprise?
3. In Moon’s First Friends, do you think she would be surprised to know how many people really do admire her and enjoy all of her different phases? What is your favorite phase of the moon?
4. Make a Venn diagram and find ways each book is the same or different. Before you draw your circles think about should the overlap be bigger or smaller than the parts that are only about one book or the other? (Are they more alike or more different from each other?)