cover image When Africa Was Home

When Africa Was Home

Karen L. Williams. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05925-8

When Africa was Peter's home, he slid down anthills and chased chickens with his friends--including Yekha, the daughter of his mayi --nanny. When his father's work in Africa is finished and the family returns to America, Peter finds that everything about his new, urban lifestyle is alien to him--and very unappealing. At last Peter and his parents are able to return to Africa, and Yekha welcomes her happy friend home. Williams, author of Galimoto , lived in Africa for several years and obviously has strong emotional ties to that land and its people. This lends a warmth and credibility to her story, told with a gentle, soothing cadence. The cherubic Peter is intermittently brought in and out of focus in Cooper's affecting oil wash paintings, filled with muted color and a frequently radiant light. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)