Disney Princess Beginnings is an exciting chapter book series featuring all-new stories about each Disney Princess as a young girl!
Young Moana is always ready for a new challenge! It is eight-year-old Moana's first time participating in the Tiale celebrationa festival that occurs every ten years and honors a brave female ancestor. Thanks to determination and coaching from her mother, Moana competes in the cliff diving competition! Children ages 6 to 9 who are independent readers will love this new chapter book based on Disney's Moana and featuring full-color illustrations! Each Disney Princess Beginnings chapter book features all-new stories about a Disney Princess as a young girl.
Disney's Dream Big, Princess campaign focuses on the amazing stories and leadership qualities of each Disney Princess and shows how they relate to today's girl.
Read an Excerpt
It was a cool morning on the island of Motunui, and Moana was busy. She worked to fasten two small bunches of bananas onto either end of a long pole. Her pet pig, Pua, napped by the trunk of a nearby tree.
“Almost ready,” said Moana. Pua lazily opened his eyes, rolled onto his back, and stretched out. He smiled as he looked up at her.
Moana lifted the pole over her head and rested it across her shoulders. She knew her dad, Chief Tui, would be there soon, and she wanted to be ready. Pua hopped up and stood beside Moana, prepared to follow her anywhere.
As Tui crested a hill, he couldn’t help but beam at the sight of his eight-year-old daughter carrying the bananas the way farmers did. “What do you have there?” he asked.
Moana grinned. “I thought I would bring them along as a treat for everyone,” she explained.
“How thoughtful,” said Tui. “Is it heavy?”
“Nope,” Moana replied. “I’ve got it.”
“Of course you do,” her father said proudly.
As Tui led Moana through a grove of coconut trees, he told her about his plans for their rounds in the village. They would spend most of the day helping a family build a fale—a new home. Tui reminded Moana, “It’s a chief’s duty to make sure the people of Motunui are happy. If there is a problem or if someone needs a hand, the chief is there to help.”
Moana nodded in understanding. Her dad had been preparing her for her future role as chief since the day she was born. She loved Motunui and its people, and was proud to help them.
As they continued walking, it seemed as though every villager was talking about a big upcoming event: the Tiale celebration. It was held once every ten years in honor of their brave ancestor Tiale and the flower that was named for her. When Moana and her dad stopped to check in on an elder, Laumei, she gratefully accepted one of Moana’s bananas and asked if Moana was excited about her first Tiale celebration.
“Yes!” answered Moana. “I’m so excited!”
“She has been counting the days,” said Tui with a chuckle.
“I remember my first one,” said Laumei, gazing off into the distance as if watching a memory play out before her. “Dancing, feasting, storytelling, the hunt for the Tiale flower, and then the competitions . . . You will love it!”
Soon Tui and Moana said goodbye to Laumei and continued on their rounds.
“When someone finds the flower, the competitions start the next day, right?” asked Moana.
Tui nodded. “That’s right.”
Earlier that morning, Tui had announced the events for the competitions: canoe racing, rock climbing, swimming, and cliff diving. Everyone interested in competing quickly made plans to train—including Moana.
“I can’t wait to compete!” exclaimed Moana.
“I’m looking forward to cheering you on,” said Tui.
“I can swim, paddle, and climb, but I don’t know how to cliff dive,” Moana said with a shrug. “The celebration starts tomorrow. Do you think I can learn in time?”
“If you work hard,” said Tui. “And find a good teacher.” Just then, they reached the family working on their new fale.
Tui greeted them, and Tautai, the father of the family, showed them around the site. “The holes are almost done, and we have the posts all ready,” Tautai explained.
Tui was happy to hear it, and knew he and Moana would be able to help.
When Moana offered everyone a banana, they gratefully accepted. “Nice touch,” said Toa, the family’s grandmother.
Moana set down the bananas and joined her dad. “You can hold the posts in place while we fill in the holes,” he said.
Moana grabbed one of the posts and held it firmly as a villager from a nearby fale filled in the space around it with dirt, packing it down tightly. Pua planted himself beside her and munched on banana peels.
Moana and her dad worked for some time before continuing their walk through the village. Later that afternoon, while they helped a farmer secure one of his animal pens, Moana’s friend Vailele approached. “Hi, Moana!” she said excitedly.
Moana waved energetically at Vailele, thrilled to see her. Pua rolled over at Vailele’s feet and stared up at her. She giggled and greeted him with a scratch.
“Want a banana?” Moana asked. “There are only a few left.”
“Thanks,” said Vailele, grabbing one. She peeled it and told Moana she was on her way to the shore. “Some of the villagers are making a big picture in the sand for the celebration.” Vailele took a bite of banana. “Dee-licious!” she said with her mouth full.
“Oh yes!” said Moana. “Gramma Tala told me about that. I can’t wait to see it.”
“Once we finish here, you can go with Vailele to the shore and help,” said Tui.
Grins spread across Moana’s and Vailele’s faces. “Thanks, Dad!” said Moana.
Moments later, the girls hurried off, with Pua trotting beside them.
“Can you believe the opening ceremony is tomorrow?” said Vailele, her eyes as big as coconuts.
“I know!” said Moana. “And then the search for the flower!”
“And once it’s found . . .” Vailele looked at Moana with a sly smile.
“The competitions!” they cried in unison.
“I really want to try rock climbing,” said Vailele. “But I have a tiny problem. Anything higher than . . . I don’t know, my head? Well, it makes me feel like I have a rainstorm brewing inside my belly.” She took a deep breath. “But in the spirit of Tiale, I will conquer my fear and find my bravery!” She raised her arms, as if showing off her muscles.
“You can do it,” Moana said. Then she pointed to a nearby rock face. “That looks like a good place to practice.”
Vailele nodded, ran toward it, and shouted at the rocks, “I’m going to climb you!” She placed one foot on a bulging rock, found a notch to grab, and lifted herself up.
Moana climbed alongside her while Pua stayed on the ground. The little pig stuck his snout into the dirt, looking for something interesting to eat or play with.
As they slowly made their way up, Moana explained that she was going to compete in at least three of the events. Then she added, “If I learn how to cliff dive in time, I’ll do all four.”
“If anyone can do it, it’s you,” said Vailele. “Okay. How high are we?” she asked, sounding a little exasperated.
“Let’s see,” said Moana, jumping down. She stood beside where Vailele was climbing. “Your foot is at my shoulder.”
“That’s it?” said Vailele, disappointed.
“Little by little,” said Moana, “you’ll get higher and higher.” She picked up a small rock and gave it to Vailele. “Mark where your hand is and try to go above it next time.”
“Good idea,” said Vailele, scratching a line into the rock face.
Squeeee! Pua let out a loud squeal and shook his head.
“What’s wrong?” Moana knelt down and giggled as she saw the source of his irritation. “Hold still,” she cooed. All that digging in the dirt had left Pua with a beetle clinging to his snout. Moana picked up the bug, and it flew away.
“Is he okay?” asked Vailele, stepping back on the ground.
“It was a big scary beetle! Right, Pua?” Moana explained playfully. “But you were very brave.” She comforted him with a pat. The little pig smiled proudly, then followed the girls toward the shore. When they reached the sand, Moana and Vailele both gasped. They couldn’t believe their eyes.