During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama often talked about his mother, Ann Dunham, and the lessons she taught him through her work with poor rural communities around the world. Dunham died of cancer in 1995, before any of her grandchildren were born.
奥巴马在竞选总统期间常常谈到他的母亲安·邓纳姆,以及他和妹妹玛雅·苏托洛从母亲在世界各地贫穷的乡村社区所做的工作中学到的东西。邓纳姆1995年因癌症去世时,她的孙辈们还没有出生。

Now the president's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has written "Ladder to the Moon," a children's book that attempts to connect her young daughter, Suhaila, with the grandmother she never knew.
玛雅·苏托洛想通过《通向月亮的梯子》帮助女儿了解她从未见过的外祖母。

The book’s title was inspired by a picture post card Dunham gave Maya as a child. It features a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe which depicts a ladder floating against the night sky, with a half-moon high above it.
这本书的书名是玛雅在儿时母亲送给她的一张明信片中得到的灵感。那是乔治亚·奥基夫的一幅画,画面上有一架梯子漂浮在夜空,梯子上悬挂着半轮月亮。

In the book, little Suhaila asks her mother what her grandmother was like. "Like the moon," her mother replies. "Full, soft and curious." Suhaila longs to meet her, and one night, her wish comes true. A golden ladder appears at her window and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along on a magical journey.
苏海拉在书中问,外祖母是什么样,母亲回答说:“象月亮一样,圆满、温柔并具有好奇心。”苏海拉渴望见到外祖母。一天晚上,她的梦想终于实现了。一架金色的梯子出现在窗口,外祖母邀请她一起去进行一次神奇的旅行。

"The book is about an evening spent helping others to come up to the moon after natural disaster and religious strife and conflict," says Soetoro-Ng. "And the moon becomes a sanctuary, an imagined place to heal and rest in hammocks until we’re laughing loudly again."
玛雅说:“书中讲述自然灾害和宗教冲突过后,他们一整个晚上都在帮助别人到月亮上去,月亮成了一个避难所,一个梦幻世界,人们在那里疗伤,休息,直到再次开怀大笑。”

It seemed natural for Soetoro-Ng to connect her daughter and Grandma Annie through the moon. Her late mother, she says, always loved the moon because it was the same for everybody, no matter where in the world they were. Under the glow of the moon, she recalls, her mother shared her most meaningful tales with her children.
玛雅认为,通过月亮把女儿和外祖母安妮连在一起,非常自然。她说,母亲生前非常喜爱月亮,因为它对所有的人都一样,无论他们居住在什么地方。玛雅还记得,在皎洁的月光下,母亲给孩子们讲故事。

That’s how Soetoro-Ng says she and her brother, President Obama, remember their mother - as a great story teller and great role model.
在玛雅和哥哥奥巴马的记忆中,母亲是一位了不起的讲故事人,也是一位伟大的榜样。

"Like me, he feels that she’s someone who gave us a strong moral compass, that she gave us compassion and desire to recognize the things that are common to all humanity and reach out across the divides even when doing so is hard," she says. "That’s something tremendously valuable."
玛雅说:“哥哥和我都同样感到,母亲给了我们牢固的道德准则,给了我们认识人类共有的事务以及跨越分歧的同情心和愿望,即使这么做很困难。这是非常有价值的东西。”

It wasn’t just her mother’s tales that shaped who she and her brother have become. Soetoro-Ng says what parents do is more important than what they say. Dunham, who had a PhD in anthropology, worked in rural development in some of the poorest places in the world.
玛雅说,不仅是母亲所说的故事帮助塑造了他们的为人,父母所做的比他们所说的更重要。安·邓纳姆拥有人类学博士学位,她在世界上一些最贫穷地方从事乡村发展工作。

"I recognize, for instance, that in making sure that we came along to villages and to her work, that our mother was trying to get us to see that these village people were just as important and powerful and loving and had just as much to teach as upper class, well-educated people."

Although her goal was to introduce her mother to her daughter, Soetoro-Ng says "Ladder to the Moon" has something to say to other young readers, and older ones as well.
尽管玛雅写书的目的是把自己的母亲介绍给女儿。但是,她表示,《通向月亮的梯子》一书也向其他年轻读者和老年人传达了信息。

"Slow down and think about the lessons of the elders. I think it’s true we look forward to enormous amounts of information, but I think we would be better off if we thought about the kinds of wisdom and thoughtfulness that we need in order to handle the amount of information ahead."
玛雅说:“让我们慢下来思考一下老年人的经验。不错,我们都希望得到大量的信息,但是,假如我们能够思考我们需要有什么样的智慧来处理这些信息,我们的情况就会更好。”

Although Suhaila never knew her grandmother, Obama and Soetoro-Ng knew theirs. Their mother's mother had an enormous influence on them.

"Our grandmother was a formidable woman, very practical and very strong, very smart. She was for me a balancing, steadying force. She took care of us. Both my brother and I lived with her for a time and she allowed us to be brave because we knew that she would always take care of us, that there would be a safety net beneath us. And that was an important feeling to have. It was a great gift."

Other messages present in "Ladder to the Moon" are that all people are intertwined and that service is important. Soetoro-Ng says children need to know they are strong enough to take responsibility for themselves and others.
《通向月亮的梯子》传递的信息还有,所有人都互相交错在一起,要有奉献精神。玛雅说,孩子们需要知道,他们足以强壮,可以为自己和他人承担责任。

"We need to teach our children empathy and care and love and communication and social responsibility in preparation for adulthood. We can’t afford to live in isolation and we need to teach our kids that the things that they do not only matter to others far away, but impact others who live far away and there are ripples of effect. So that means we need to be responsible and thoughtful about our actions, about our relationship to the environment, about the way that we communicate and we ought to do so kindly."
她说:“我们需要教导孩子们具有同情心,知道去关爱别人,懂得与人沟通并承担社会责任,以便为他们进入成年作好准备。我们经不起离群索居,我们要教导孩子们,他们做的事不仅关系到,而且影响到在遥远地方生活人们,会产生涟漪效应。这意味着,我们需要承担责任,要对我们的行动、与环境的关系以及我们交往的方式三思而行,而且采取友善的态度。我们需要提醒他们,他们很坚强,可以做很多事给世界带来积极的影响。”

Soetoro-Ng hopes "Ladder to the Moon" triggers conversations between parents and children about the values and tools the young generation needs to have a positive impact on the world.
玛雅说,年轻一代如果要对世界产生积极的影响,就需要具有相应的价值观和工具。她希望《通向月亮的梯子》一书能够开启父母和孩子之间在这方面的对话。