IN THE SMALL, SMALL NIGHT by Jane Kurtz
Kirkus Star

IN THE SMALL, SMALL NIGHT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Using stories she heard from a friend from Ghana, Kurtz weaves them into a lovely story about wisdom and perseverance. Abena, Kofi, and their family have moved to America from Ghana. Kofi, frightened of the new adventures ahead, turns to his sister: “ ‘I can’t sleep,’ Kofi says. ‘What if we forget Grandmother and our cousins now that we live in America?’ Abena pats his head, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll help us remember.’ ” So she begins to soothe the fears of her younger brother, using traditional African folktales as her technique. With the sure cadence of a true teller, Abena opens with an Anansi tale that begins with Anansi lying awake worrying like Kofi. A second story, of turtle’s determination to stay with his friend eagle, finally does the trick. When Abena confesses that she too is sometimes afraid, Kofi turns the stories’ morals back to her. Isadora’s vibrant illustrations, drenched in color, capture the African settings, the folkloric animals, and the love between brother and sister—and they complete the enchantment. (Picture book 7-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-623814-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2005




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