An homage to the resourcefulness of children, whose ingenuity is their wealth.
Caleb and his younger sister, Prisca, are inseparable. When Caleb comes down with malaria, Prisca brings him tea and nsima, a Malawian cornmeal dish. When Prisca can’t carry the bucket on her head during chores, Caleb helps. So when Caleb leaves the village for school in Chimwe, Prisca misses him so much that she seeks help from the peddler Tewa Tewa. She makes painted rocks, paper-bead necklaces, and corn-husk dolls to earn travel money, but Tewa Tewa’s customers don’t buy them. Still, Prisca always welcomes the peddler warmly. When he visits with his newly repaired bike, he agrees to take Prisca and her mother to Chimwe. Based on a family Rose met on a medical mission, this quiet tale emphasizes the sacrifices families often make to educate their children. Zunon’s full-bleed illustrations are a bit stilted, but they give readers a sense of village life in Malawi and effectively show that familial love is not contingent upon material possessions. The book’s final image, of Caleb reading to Prisca, also highlights the gift older siblings give younger siblings when they share their love of literacy. An author’s note closes with URLs for organizations that fund girls’ education in developing countries.
A worthwhile read. (maps, glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)