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Children's Fiction Asia

Burying the Moon

by (author) Andrée Poulin

illustrated by Sonali Zohra

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Asia, Stories in Verse, General, General
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


A beautifully illustrated novel in verse about a young Indian girl who tackles the taboos around sanitation in her village.

In Latika’s village in rural India, there are no toilets. No toilets mean that the women have to wait until night to do their business in a field. There are scorpions and snakes in the field, and germs that make people sick. For the girls in the village, no toilets mean leaving school when they reach puberty.

No one in the village wants to talk about this shameful problem. But Latika has had enough. When a government representative visits their village, she sees her chance to make one of her dreams come true: the construction of public toilets, which would be safer for everybody in her village.

Burying the Moon shines a light on how a lack of access to sanitation facilities affects girls and women in many parts of the world.


Key Text Features

author's note



Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

About the authors

Si pudiera, Andrée Poulin se la pasaría leyendo todo el día. Su amor por la lectura es lo que la llevó a escribir. Después de trabajar como periodista durante muchos años, trabajó en el desarrollo internacional. Ella ha escrito más de treinta libros para niños de todas las edades. Muchos han ganado premios, especialmente el TD Children’s Literature Award (Premio de Literatura Infantil TD, en francés) para La plus grosse poutine du monde, ahora traducido al inglés y publicado por Annick Press como The Biggest Poutine in the World (2016). Sus cuentos tratan sobre la amistad, la empatía, la tolerancia, la pobreza y la solidaridad.

Andrée cree que los libros pueden cambiar el mundo. Al hacer que los escenarios de sus cuentos sean en Canadá, África y Asia, lleva a sus lectores a vivir aventuras que les permiten descubrir otras culturas, como lo hace en Pablo encuentra un tesoro

A Andrée le encanta compartir su pasión por la lectura y su placer por escribir con niños. Ella escribe un blog, revisa libros para la Campaña Nacional de Lectura y ofrece talleres para jóvenes en escuelas y bibliotecas. 


Andrée nació y se crió en Orléans, Ontario. Ella ahora vive en Gatineau, Quebec. 


If she could, Andrée Poulin would read from morning to night. Her love of reading is what brought her to writing. After working as a journalist for many years, she worked in international development. She has written over thirty books for children of all ages. Many have won awards, most notably the TD Children’s Literature Award (French language) for La plus grosse poutine du monde, now translated into English and published by Annick Press as The Biggest Poutine in the World (2016). Her stories deal with friendship, empathy, tolerance, poverty, and solidarity. 

Andrée believes that books can change the world. By setting her stories in Canada, Africa, and Asia, she takes her readers on adventures in discovering other cultures, as she does in Pablo Finds a Treasure (2016, available in Spanish in Fall 2018). Her latest book with Annick Press is That’s Not Hockey! (Fall 2018), a picture book based on the life of the inventor of the goalie mask, Jacques Plante. 

Andrée loves to share her passion for reading and her pleasure for writing with children. She writes a blog, reviews books for the National Reading Campaign, and gives workshops for youth in schools and libraries. 

Andrée was born and raised in Orléans, Ontario. She now lives in Gatineau, Quebec.




Andrée Poulin's profile page

SONALI ZOHRA is a Indian illustrator living in Bangalore. She studied fine arts and photography, and holds a master’s degree in design from the University of South Wales, in Australia. She is fully aware of the lack of sanitation facilities as depicted in this novel. When she was small, she would often accompany her father, who worked for UNICEF India on projects concerning women’s health in rural areas.


Sonali Zohra's profile page


  • Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Winner, South Asia Book Award
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Awards, Diamond Willow Award

Editorial Reviews

This title will inspire matter-of-fact classroom conversations about a basic utility service that is likely taken for granted in most of North America.

School Library Connection

Andrée Poulin's verse and Sonali Zohra's colourful illustrations are paired perfectly in this book that brings awareness to a very important issue.

Canadian Children's Book News

A book that will both captivate and raise consciousness in readers of all ages.

Montreal Review of Books

This simple story brings to light the plight that more than half of the world’s population faces when there are no toilets. An important book to be read and discussed with older readers.

Calgary Herald

A well-balanced mix of poignant, humorous, interesting, and profound.

Cloud Lake Literary

Inspiring. The text is heavy with meaning and emotion but short on filler.

CanLit for LittleCanadians Blog


Horn Book

The illustrations by Indian artist Sonali Zohra fit seamlessly with the text.

Winnipeg Free Press

[An] intense and moving novel.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

An essential read and a great way to discuss often-ignored questions of sanitation, menstruation, and equity with young readers.

Open Book

[E]nriches broader discussions of world issues. STARRED REVIEW


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