For You Are a Kenyan Child

Kelly Cunnane, Author, Ana Juan, Illustrator , illus. by Ana Juan. Atheneum/Schwartz $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-86194-9

Cunnane debuts with this playful, vivid tale that offers a glimpse of a rural Kenyan childhood. "Roosters crow,/ and you wake one morning/ in the green hills of Africa,/.../ Enter Mama's hut/ .../ sip maize porridge to begin the day,/ for you are a Kenyan child." Lyrical prose in the second person asks readers to imagine themselves as the young hero, who finds many diversions to his job of guarding Grandfather's cows (e.g., he chases a monkey, kicks a rag ball with a friend). At each detour, he calls out, "Hodi?" (Anybody home?), and hears, "Karibu!" (Welcome!) in reply; the words skip boisterously across the page in bold typeface. Author and artist convey a nurturing environment, as relatives and friends each offer the boy something (in translated Swahili phrases). The village chief lets him parade around with the "chief stick;" his grandmother gives him fresh sweet "sleeping milk" from a gourd; his gentle grandfather bestows forgiveness. Juan's (The Night Eater ) signature wide-eyed characters and animals, and tweaked perspectives seem ideally suited to this exotic yet homespun tale. Blue snow-capped mountains and bright, often patterned clothing contrast against dusty ground painted in splatters of pinks and oranges. Despite the boy's tattered shorts and bare feet, readers will sense the generosity of his village. Meanwhile, his relentless distractions will resonate with children the world over who are prone to put off chores in favor of more exciting exploits. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/02/2006
Release date: 01/01/2006
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-85707-130-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.