Maui Mom’s “Moon Mangoes” Wins National Award

November 22, 2011, 9:40 AM HST
* Updated November 22, 2:29 PM
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"Moon Mangoes" written by Lindy Shapiro and illustrated by Kathleen Peterson. Photo courtesy of Shapiro.

By Sonia Isotov

Paia-based, mother of two, Lindy Shapiro recently traveled to Michigan to accept the Moonbeam Silver Medal award for her first book entitled “Moon Mangoes.”

Written by Lindy Shapiro and illustrated by Kathleen Peterson, “Moon Mangoes” was released in September 2011 with BeachHouse Publishing, and in one month Shapiro was among more than 850 entrants for the Moonbeam Award.

Every year, the Jenkins Group and Independent Publisher Online honor the year’s best children’s books, authors, and illustrators in the promotion of children’s literacy and life-long learning. Earlier this month, Shapiro traveled to the Traverse City Children’s Book Festival in Michigan to accept her award in the category of Picture Book (All Ages).

Lindy Shapiro accepts her Moonbeam Award. Photo courtesy of Independent Publisher Online.

Shapiro fell upon the theme of her book as she was driving her children to art class one day and found herself bombarded with a slew of their worldly questions.

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“Moon Mangoes” tells the story of a mother trying to answer the numerous questions of her child. The story begins as the moon is full and shining on a mango tree heavy with fruit. Beneath its leaves sits a little blue house, and beneath its eaves, sits little Anuenue and her mama. On magical Hawaiian nights such as this, thoughts take flight. Gazing at the mango tree, Anuenue asks her mama:

“Moon Mangoes” tells the story of a mother trying to answer the numerous questions of her child.

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“What if I ate up all those mangoes one by one and I got so full of them that I turned into a mango tree?” Capturing the spirit of every child’s imagination and combined yearning for and fear of independence, “Moon Mangoes” explores the “what if” back-and-forth exchange between child and parent, and captures that magical before-bedtime hour when anything is possible and love is constant.

This 37-year-old mother of two holds a Masters Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in speech-language pathology and a specialization in the 0-3 year age group. As she provided speech therapy to children in a variety of individual and group settings, Shapiro developed a better understanding of their needs and interests, and more importantly, how to reach them.  She is currently working on her PhD in Education at the University of Hawaii.

“What I have loved most about this experience is the opportunity to share Moon Mangoes with young audiences. I am inspired every day by how kids can take Anu’s story and imagine new possibilities.  I hope that the book will remind us all to keep dreaming and never grow up too much to stop reaching for the stars.”

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Book copies signed by the author can be purchased through http://www.bodhieducaitonproject.org. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Free The Children to support their work in building schools in developing countries. Unsigned book copies are available at http://www.amazon.com at Barnes & Noble in Lahaina. The author can be reached at [email protected]

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