Books by Dianne Stewart

GIFT OF THE SUN by Dianne Stewart
Released: Sept. 20, 1996

The plainspoken tale of a rural South African who seeks to simplify his life by selling his encumbrances. Thulani prefers basking in the sun to milking his cow, so he sells the cow and buys a goat. He continues to trade down, until he is left with nothing more than some sunflower seeds. In a twist of fate, the sunflower seeds lead Thulani back to prosperity. After he acquires a whole yard full of animals, he becomes so busy trading them that he doesn't have any time to languish in the sunshine. He realizes that milking cows leads to some of his best thinking. Daly's atmospheric illustrations—a folk-art style that finds precision in the shape of seeds—capture the spare beauty of life in rural South Africa. (Picture book. 5+) Read full book review >
THE DOVE by Dianne Stewart
by Dianne Stewart, illustrated by Jude Daly
Released: May 27, 1993

In the South African province of Natal, when heavy rains and floods delay spring planting, Grandmother Maloko makes key rings and necklaces of beads. She and Lindi take the train to Durban, where they find that shopkeepers already have too many beaded souvenirs; even at the beachfront, tourists buy almost nothing. Next day, Lindi suggests making a fabric dove, representing one that came to their home after the storm. The beaded dove is unusual enough to sell, with orders for more; now there will be enough money for food until the harvest. The touch of allegory lies lightly on this quiet, gracefully told story of hard times, taken in stride as normal by these black South Africans. In Daly's spare, carefully crafted illustrations, backgrounds are generalized in evocative watercolor while figures dressed in bead-bright colors are rendered in a faux-naif style, with subtly expressive gestures but little individualization. An attractive import. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >