DetailsLuna's family has just moved to what feels like the coldest city in the world ... but will she find a friend in the ice and snow?
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ISBN 9781894431590 Publication Date Dec 1, 2010 Author Damircheli, Majid Illustrator Siemens, Wendy Pages 32 Size 8.00″ x 8.00″
Customer Reviews 3 item(s)
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Author Majid Damircheli, originally from Tehran, has experienced firsthand what it is like to move to a new country. This story will strike the hearts of new Canadians who are adapting to an unfamiliar winter climate, learning a new language and trying to make friends.
Luna, a young girl, looks out her window with her mother and wishes for a friend in the snow. After many lonely days and nights of sharing her pain with the moon and the sun, she finally begins to make some friends. She and a group of classmates have fun in the snow together.
The subject of this book ties in with curricular studies of changes within families as well as school communities. This book could be used for a discussion about welcoming and including new students in a classroom, particularly those who don't speak English well. It highlights the feelings of the newcomer:
"Soon Luna started school.
It was very hard — she couldn't understand anything at all ... ....
Learning a new language was very hard. but what was worse was not being able to tell the other children how she felt.
Luna's heart was full of love for other people and she wanted a friend."
This story would work well as a teacher read aloud. The full colour illustrations portray many different ethnic backgrounds.
- SPG Book Review
Lonely Luna written by Majid Damircheli with illustrations by Wendy Siemens is about a little girl who moves from a warm climate to a cold one. It is a story that successfully conveys some of the trials and hardship that may occur within a family, and specifically with children, when making such a grand adjustment in place, weather, language, family relations, and culture shock.
As Luna experiences winter for the first time, Damircheli establishes a nice rhythm of repetition, using epithets to teach about snow being “white like milk” and “cold as ice”. Because of the weather, the neighboring children don’t go out to play, and Luna only gazes out the window at the empty neighborhood, hence the title Lonely Luna.
Luna is seriously out of her element in terms of temperature, but also in terms of language. She seems to be, hmm, eight? She can’t understand at school, and so doesn’t make friends there either. To the moon and the sun, in turn, she wishes for a friend. Siemens includes an illustration that shows three figurines, the sun, moon, and the earth to symbolize this threefold desire for friendship. Indeed, Siemens uses the planets, the sun, and the moon as symbols throughout this book, creating a larger range for this story, emphasizing how small Luna feels as a culture-shocked and friendless girl who can’t even communicate herself, in a place that might as well be another planet.
Surprise! Luna arrives home one day to find that her mother has “gone on a trip and might not be able to come back for a long time”. Luna hadn’t even a chance to say good-bye! And her sadness deepens. To make things worse, her father dives into his work, and she hardly ever gets to see him—her only family, the one person she can communicate comfortably with in this new place. Evidently, this is a story that teaches not only about moving, adjusting to climate, language barrier, and loneliness, but also abandonment and separation.
Ever an optimist, however, Luna is sure that there must be some warmth in the cold. After a little while, there is a new girl at school, who has also moved from another locale, and by this time Luna has learned enough to make herself understood. Together they go on a quest around the schoolyard to find a friend. In the end, Luna has found a circle of friends, and is warm in their company, and in her own laughter, even outside in the cold. The happy ending of finding friendship teaches that focus and determination are rewarded, in the sense that if Luna makes steps toward what she wants, a friend, then she will eventually, with time, be a success. I feel that a sophistication in Damircheli’s ending must be noted: the mother doesn’t return, and her disappearance is not addressed any further, which makes the ending more complex, like in life, not all things are resolved at once in a neat and tidy fashion.
- Librarian in London, ON.
A young girl and her family leave their country to make a home in Canada. Arriving during the winter months, Luna has to adjust to not only the new culture, but also the climate. Luna doesn't like the "shivery, quivery, goosebumpy, numb-fingery, teeth-chattering" feel of snow. She has a hard time making a friend and finds her new surroundings both physically and emotionally chilly.
Although she takes comfort in her close-knit family, every night she wishes "for a little warmth, a friend." At school, she puts on a brave smile, but not being able to speak English makes it hard to be able to share her true feelings. Eventually, Luna discovers that "there were many children like her new to the ice and the snow and the coldest city in the world." On the playground, she holds hands and enjoys her new friends, finally finding the warmth for which she was looking.
Luna's loneliness and sense of isolation is well captured. Coldness is emphasized in such repeated phrases as "white like milk and cold as ice". Wendy Siemens' water colour illustrations have a snowy border that resembles a frosted window pane.
This heartfelt story will resonate with children and could be used as a classroom discussion starter.