Lottie Moon: The Girl Who Reached the World – Amy Whitfield and Marcin Piwowarski

Lottie Moon: The Girl Who Reached the World by Amy Whitfield, Marcin Piwowarski
Also by this author: How Much Is a Little Boy Worth?, C.S. Lewis: The Writer Who Found Joy
Series: Here I Am! Biography Series #3
Published by B&H Publishing, B&H Kids on October 3, 2023
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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The Cookie Lady who never looked back.

When she was a girl, no one expected young and mischievous Charlotte Digges Moon to ever move across the world to be one of the first female missionaries. But Lottie Moon was not just any girl.

This biographical picture book tells the story of how Lottie left behind all she knew and dedicated her life to taking the gospel to China. There she spent decades serving and teaching, offering her new friends home-baked cookies and telling them about Jesus. She wrote hundreds of letters to raise money for her work, and her tireless determination left a legacy on both sides of the world.

Narrated by a friendly panda, this book offers a unique view at what living for God can look like, wherever you are. Readers will be inspired by Lottie’s bravery and reminded how faith can drive the best of dreams.

Lottie Moon: The Girl Who Reached the World is the third book in the Here I Am! biography series for kids ages 4-8 which highlights fascinating and faithful Christians in history. Also available: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Teacher Who Became a Spy and C.S. Lewis: The Writer Who Found Joy.

This picture book biography introduces a beloved Christian missionary to children, sharing her life story and highlighting some of the most powerful elements of her legacy. Amy Whitfield tells Lottie Moon’s story in a simple, engaging way, and she highlights details that kids can connect with. For example, she mentions that some Chinese children called Lottie Moon “The Cookie Lady,” since she made cookies for them on a regular basis. Whitfield also explains how Moon adapted to the clothing and lifestyle of the Chinese village where she served, making “their home her home.” The book follows Moon through the end of her life, emphasizing her faith in God and her trailblazing efforts as a single missionary who opened the door for other women to participate in global missions. Whitfield also highlights the significance of the fundraising Moon did, which still continues in her name.

The narrator for this story is Mei Mei the Panda, a character created for this book. Each book in this series has an animal narrator, and they sometimes appear on the page, mentioning an additional interesting fact. These sidebars flow well with the story and don’t feel disruptive. The panda is whimsical and fun, and another interesting element of this book is a seek-and-find game, with a word from one of Moon’s letters hidden on each page spread. The illustrations from Marcin Piwowarski are soft and gentle while still being detailed, and they convey visual details that are important to the story.

My one critique is that even though the author explains some old-fashioned details, such as modes of travel, there is only one time where she pins down a date, and that date is six years after Moon’s death. I had enough prior knowledge to fill in the blanks, but many people who are sharing this book with children won’t have the information they need to better understand the historical time period and explain it to kids. This book would have been even clearer and more educational if the author had provided more historical context or included a timeline in the back.

Lottie Moon: The Girl Who Reached the World is a wonderful introduction to Lottie Moon’s life and missionary service. It teaches children about her experience coming to know Jesus, her passion for sharing the gospel, and the ways that she effectively ministered by adapting to her local context and sending letters home to raise awareness and support for global missions. This book is appropriate for parents to read aloud to young children, and elementary-aged kids can read this to themselves. I really enjoyed this, and would recommend it people who are looking for inspiring Christian biographies.