Reach for the Moon, Little Lion by Hildegard Müller is a story about a little lion who learns to have strength and resilience despite hurtful ridicule that he experiences. The book, first published in German and later translated to English, begins with a little lion, who so much smaller than all the other lions, gets ridiculed by a leopard, hippopotamus and crocodile.
The three cruel animals ask the little lion whether he is a lion or a mouse and tell him that a lion is supposed to be so big that he can touch the moon with a paw. That night, the little lion sits on a hill, looking at the moon, imagining what it would be like to touch it, but conceding that it would be impossible.
A raven observes the little lion in his sadness and offers the lion help. The next day, the raven tells all the animals about something important that is about to happen. All the animals flock to the hill, where they watch as the little lion reaches out his paw and touches the moon
The book ends with the leopard, the hippopotamus, and the crocodile silent, and the little lion confident as he walks away from his former ridiculers smiling.
This book is colorful and bright. The illustrations make good use of the space in the book and the book’s long and rectangular shape contribute to the sense of separation between the little lion and the leopard, hippopotamus, and crocodile as they are often located on opposite sides of the page. Furthermore, through the illustrations, Müller effectively conveys the animals’ emotions.
Reach for the Moon, Little Lion is a story about strength and bravery. It teaches children important lessons of resilience and kindness and includes characters to which children can relate. The little lion reminds children of times that they felt small, the leopard, hippopotamus, and crocodile of times they were the ridiculers, and the raven of times they offered kindness and support to someone in need. Through all these characters, Müller teaches lessons of demonstrating resilience, the impact that bullying has on others, and the power of reaching out in kindness.