cover image Kamau and ZuZu Find a Way

Kamau and ZuZu Find a Way

Aracelis Girmay, illus. by Diana Ejaita. Enchanted Lion, $19.95 (60p) ISBN 978-1-592-70389-0

A grandchild, Kamau, and grandmother, ZuZu, find themselves suddenly on the moon with no means of returning home in this mysterious intergenerational tale from Girmay (What Do You Know?) and Ejaita (A Day in the Sun). While Kamau doesn’t miss a place he can’t remember, ZuZu does, and she begins planting in the moon’s crust in order to create a new home from what she has. A kernel of corn and a clothespin, a photograph of her mother, and a square of cloth turn into flora and fauna, a starry quilt, and “a wide and silent kite.” As Kamau grows older, ZuZu’s tears seed a well for drinking water, and the duo’s family continues to search frantically for them. The relations eventually find a way to communicate, but it’s still difficult for Kamau to envision where he’s from, and ZuZu does the work of both offering their previous home’s history and marveling at Kamau’s moon life. Saturated hues and printmaking textures create shape-based images of both realms in this diasporic look at honoring legacy while finding “a way to live, as people do.” Kamau and ZuZu’s skin reflects some pages’ black background; other characters are portrayed with various fantastical skin tones. Ages 6–9. (May)