Elizabeti's Doll

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Author, S. A. Bodeen, Author, Christy Hale, Illustrator Lee & Low Books $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-880000-70-0
In an impressive debut, Stuve-Bodeen warms the heart and hearth with this sweetly evoked tale inspired by her experiences in the Peace Corps. Set in a Tanzanian village, the story tells of Elizabeti, who watches her mother care for her new baby brother and longs for a little one of her own to cuddle. She has no doll, so instead she looks around for a suitable ""baby"" and soon finds a rock that's shaped just right. Carefully mimicking her mother, she bathes, feeds (her doll is ""too polite to burp"") and changes ""Eva,"" and when doing chores ties Eva to her back ""with a bright cloth called a kanga,"" just as her mother does. Downcast when Eva is misplaced (her sister accidentally uses the rock for the cooking fire), Elizabeti finds her special doll in time to sing her to sleep. Stuve-Bodeen's well-balanced prose strikes just the right tranquil, gently humorous tone. She lovingly delineates the mother-daughter relationship, and offers a rare, intimate view of another culture while sounding a universal chord. Hale (Juan Bobo and the Pig), meanwhile, deftly captures the story's mood in softly shaded mixed-media illustrations, juxtaposing brightly printed motifs in African fabrics against an earthy, sundrenched palette. The artist is equally adept at conveying close-up portraits with a full emotional range as she is a village scene of Elizabeti carrying a water jug atop her head. A little slice of perfection. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-58430-081-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-27986-4
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-58430-000-7
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-26018-3
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-58430-001-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-17847-1
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-1-60060-958-9
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