"It was a wonderful day for Nana Star to begin her journey to return the lost baby star to his home in the heavens." So begins the 26-page story of, Nana Star and the Moonman, by sisters Elizabeth Sills and Elena Patrice.
My final verdict: What I like: As children read the book they are asked to keep an eye out for a misspelled word. The explanation from the author in the introduction is that, "...we all make mistakes...only God can make all things perfect." I like how that immediately gives the child a reason to pay close attention to what they're reading, and I agree with the explanation.
What I did not like: This is the second book in a, so far, two book series. It is not a satisfying story on its own and reads more like a chapter rather than a book in its own right. A bigger issue than the quality of the story, for me, is its message. Once God is mentioned in the introduction, He is nowhere to be found in the actual story. Animal's are referred to as, "Nature's creatures, " and the moon is given the lofty responsibility of being Nana Star's guardian. "Do not be afraid, little Nana Star. Remember, I am the Moonman and I will be with you always. Even when you can't see me, I am with you, watching over you." This is walking a fine line between someone's idea of symbolism for God and elementary notions of New Ageism. The authors could have easily made sure that God was given the due credit as Creator of all creatures or as the One who can comfort Nana Star in times when she feels afraid. These are the truths that I am teaching my children in our home.
Though Nana Star, the Moonman, and ee Publishing and Productions have won quite a few awards, I am not a fan. I know that some may say that I'm reading things that aren't there. When it comes to my young children, I will not hesitate to err on the side of caution. The story sends a confusing mix of messages to young readers. When there are lots of God honoring choices in early children's literature available, I do not feel like I have to compromise by choosing a story like Nana Star and the Moonman.