Not fitting in. Feeling out of place. Hiding within oneself. Relatable feelings, for sure! Debut author Antwan Eady and artist Gracey Zhang illustrate evolving confidence through the character of Nigel. The story follows Nigel’s thoughts and actions during Career Week at his school. Nigel is enthusiastic about his dreams of becoming an astronaut, a dancer, and a superhero, yet he is fearful of sharing this with classmates.
It’s easy to tell the moon his truth…his dreams. But Nigel is not ready to tell the world.
When Nigel’s parents join him in the classroom on the last day of Career Week, Nigel gathers the confidence to share his dreams with his peers.
At night, he tells the moon his dreams. But telling the world isn’t so scary after all.
The 6 year old reader wondered, “Why is he so scared of saying his ideas out loud?” A group of 12 year old readers expressed their connections to Nigel’s insecurities in the classroom. They noticed how pained and scared Nigel’s face looked throughout the book and how the final picture showed a happy, relieved expression. My adult reading group focused on the weightiness of Nigel’s worry; so mighty and consuming for such a young child.
For all of us who live and work with children, Nigel and the Moon nudges us to consider our intentional moves and commitment to growing all voices, as well as our informed practices to support the challenging journey of becoming confident in one’s identity.