Soetoro-Ng brings ‘Ladder’ to Art Night

HANAPEPE — Students at Kapa‘a Elementary School will be reading “Ladder to the Moon,” Monday, said Deborah Hailey.

The Eastside school’s librarian was one of a steady stream of people who were picking up copies of the wide-format children’s book at the weekly Art Night, Friday, in Hanapepe.

The author of the children’s book is Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Barack Obama’s half-sister from O‘ahu. She was on hand with her daughters to autograph copies of “Ladder to the Moon” as part of a fundraiser for the Garden Island Arts Council Kahu Kai mural project at Lydgate Park. 

Suhaila, Soetoro-Ng’s daughter who was the inspiration for the book, spent time at the Art Night making her acquaintance with several feline regulars.

In the book, Suhaila asks her mom about her grandmother, Ann Dunham.

Dunham, who is also the president’s mother, passed away 10 years prior to Suhaila’s birth in 2004.

Suhaila is introduced to Dunham in the story by Soetoro-Ng when a magical golden ladder appears and allows her to journey in Grandma Annie’s company.

Carol Yotsuda of the GIAC said Soetoro-Ng will participate in a work day today at the pavilion near Kamalani Playground where the mural is being completed. She said there would be time to meet with the artists of the mural (Van Go! artists), as well as sponsors, family and friends.


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