By: Suzy Davies
Are you satisfied with the way you look? When staring at yourself in the mirror, do you only see the imperfections that you wish you could change? Or, maybe you are perfectly content with your reflection and are able to confidently face each day with a burning zest and optimism. To which way of thinking do you belong? If it is the former, then you have a lot in common with Luna the Moon Pig. This is a delightful children’s book (ages up to 9 years old), which conveys a very important message in a beautifully crafted story.
Essentially, the story is about a little piglet named Luna. We are introduced to Luna from the very first day in which she is born as the runt of the litter. Teased by her siblings who call her names such as “fat face,” Luna becomes very insecure about herself and how she looks. This little piggy has some serious self-esteem and low self-worth issues! We continue to see evidence of this as visitors come by the farm to purchase baby piglets and Luna comments:
“I wish I looked cute like them!
Then someone would love me and I’d be happy too.”
However, much to Luna’s surprise, she is selected and quickly loved by a girl named Maria who takes her home to be part of the family.
Although their time together is wonderful, Luna decides to go into the forest and see what the outside world has to offer. After rolling around in the mud, Luna is teased by the various woodland creatures for her appearance and nicknamed “Moon Crater Face.” At this point, Luna wants to go home to the loving Maria more than anything. However, she questions to herself why Maria would possibly want such an ugly creature as Luna to return. Will Luna make it home? Or will her deeply entrenched insecurity and low self-esteem prevent Luna from ever discovering the joy of having a loving family?
While the preceding story line follows the life of a little piglet, it nevertheless rings true for so many children and adults alike. Insecurity and low self-esteem can be very difficult emotional traits to endure and overcome for all people… particularly children! It can have a massive negative impact on their learning, development, and happiness. To be able to overcome these suffocating emotions can open up a wealth of joy, happiness and opportunity.
In her story, Suzy Davies has included a number of important themes and messages. For example, Luna’s low self-esteem and insecurity can certainly be attributed to the teasing she endured at the hands of others. Learning to accept yourself for what you are and overcoming adversity stands out as a prevalent theme. In an age which is placing increasing emphasis on social/emotional learning, this is certainly a critical message to impart.
The writing and illustration in this book seem to naturally compliment each other. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful and do a great job of helping the reader to understand the story. A very important criteria for very early readers in particular. The writing has a natural flow which aptly captures the emotions of childhood. For instance, the scene early on in the story when Luna is sold to Maria, and then proceeds to cry and squeal for her Mommy, will instantly strike a chord with children and lead to active engagement.
As a former teacher and school principal, I have a special place in my heart for children’s books. To have an impact there needs to be so many components all clicking together. Children can be a tough audience! This story hits all of them and as such gets 5 oinky stars!