Picture book author

“Back in his bed, he searches for the moon. In the dark hue of the night, he finds it once more. And right there, between the moon and him, his dreams are waiting. Tomorrow, I’ll tell the world,” he says.

Nigel has BIG dreams. When he gazes at the moon, his future is filled with the same brilliance. His imagination soars! He’s an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero. He’s a star among the cosmos. His pride swells. His eyes sparkle. He’s the most brilliant body in the sky…until it’s time for Career Week at school when he can’t find the courage to share his dreams.

Nigel searches and fails to find books with pictures of boys who look like his dreams. He whispers his fear to the moon—his dream companion: “What if I wish to be too many things?” Feeling out of place with his classmates, he worries they’ll laugh at him. “…[H]e quivers at the thought.” But in a surprise classroom visit by his parents who speak of their own blue-collar careers, he learns to take pride in his roots and gain the courage to speak of his dreams.

Debut author Antwan Eady crafts a lyrical, luminous tale that inspires children of working-class families to dream big. To voice their aspirations out loud and proud. To respect their roots, no matter where they’ve grown from. The talented Antwan admits that he’s spent many nights whispering his own dreams, which he now gladly shares with the world.

Cover of picture book

Growing up in Garnett, South Carolina, Antwan spent most of his days four-wheeling, fishing, and picturing a world without boundaries. As the youngest of his siblings and the first in his family to graduate from college, he’s spent years helping others do the same. He’s a proud graduate of Clemson University! As an author, Antwan believes children should have access to literature that inspires them, saves them, and helps change their lives because “that’s what books have done for him.” His books provide literature where the underrepresented may see themselves driving the stories. Antwan is the author of Nigel and the Moon as well as the upcoming Micah’s Rise, The Last Stand, and The Gathering Table.

Nigel reaching for the. moon
Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady/Illustrared by Gracey Zhang

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Gracey Zhang is an award-winning illustrator, author, and animator. Using ink, gouache and watercolor, Gracey paints a muralesque landscape over which Nigel flies each night on his way to the moon. Her art masterfully conveys Nigel’s array of emotions. When Nigel struggles with aloneness, Gracey surrounds him with white space to enhance his isolation and anxieties. Her whimsical art lifts Nigel’s fanciful inner world off the page, breathing life into the story.


Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Gracey has participated in artist residencies around the world. She is now based in New York where works from her Brooklyn studio.

Visit Gracey Zhange:

Nigel and the Moon art

Kirkus gives Nigel and the Moon a starred review: “A poignant story designed to help young readers feel good about themselves and where they come from. Nigel, a brown-skinned young boy, peers out of his bedroom window and shares his dreams with the moon.”

Publishers Weekly labels Nigel and the Moon “as the Best Book of the Year.”

Treat yourself and others to this powerful book about dreaming big no matter our roots:

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Nigel and the Moon’s message is a profoundly simple one: keep believing in self and take pride in family roots. Dream big—in spite of the imagined or actual limitations. No matter what others say. Brave the guffaws, the fears! Whatever our age, spend time peering at the moon, the stars, and the universe and invite grand hopes and dreams into our lives.

Nigel flying to the moon
Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady/Illustrated by Gracey Zhang

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1 Comment

  1. Jilanne Hoffmann

    This is a recent favorite of mine, too! It’s so tender and vulnerable. And the luminous illustrations match it perfectly.


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Marsha Elyn Wright

Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


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