Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Talks to Moon

Talks to Moon by Alf Vitaro. Illustrated by Rio Meek.

This truly touching children’s book tells the story of a young sacred white buffalo. This story covers several different important lessons – including bullying, faith, and unconditional love in an easy to understand manner, suitable for children of all ages.

Just as the full moon appears from behind a cloud, this little white buffalo is born into the world, in the middle of a whispering herd that doesn’t approve of his color.

He is teased, harassed, even “buffalo-napped” and thrown into a mud pit. His parents, Maska and Helaco show their love and faith in their little boy however, and encourage him that someday the whole herd would realize just how special he really is.

The ties to bullying are important, and no child is too young to learn how to deal with being teased by his or her peers. No child is too young to have the love of a parent reinforced.

When this little buffalo works up the courage to run with the herd, he is chased off into a dangerous situation, and feels as though he has failed, not only himself, but his parents as well.

As he wanders through the wilderness, the full moon again rises, and shines down upon the little white buffalo.  The buffalo looks up and sees the moon and begins talking to it each night. 

One night the moon doesn’t appear, and the poor little buffalo cries, believing the moon has left him for another friend.   As the little buffalo cries, he hears a voice speaking to him. It turns out the voice belongs to a little Indian boy named “Talks to Stars”.  Talks to Stars explains to the little buffalo that when you love someone, even if you can’t see them, you can always find them right in your own heart.

The two go off in search of the moon and after they find it, Talk to Stars vanishes from sight, but his voice comes to the little buffalo telling him to go find his family.

The little buffalo goes home to find the herd being hunted.  As the little buffalo leaps in the way of an arrow to protect a member of his herd, the Indian Chief sees the sacred white buffalo and feels severe remorse.  The little buffalo is unharmed however, and the Indian Chief explains to him how they have been waiting for his birth for he his the sacred white buffalo.  The Indian Chief also tells the baby buffalo about how his own son Talks to Stars, had saved his own life on the battlefield.

The little buffalo realizes how important Talks to Stars is to him, and goes looking for his friend once again.  The little buffalo also decides his name should be Talks to Moon.

This bold and emotional story literally brought tears to my own eyes.  It’s well written, both grammatically and creatively. Children are able to learn about other traditions and themselves in this beautiful tale.