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FOR YOU ARE A KENYAN CHILD by Kelly Cunnane Kirkus Star


by Kelly Cunnane & illustrated by Ana Juan

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86194-X
Publisher: Atheneum

A day in the life of a distractible lad, illustrated with almost magical brightness by the reigning Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award–winner. Cunnane invites readers to place themselves at the center of her warm tale of a boy who, sent out to mind his Grandfather’s cows, instead turns aside to enjoy a hot chepati from the proprietor of the local tea shop, hares off after a passing monkey, visits the kindly village chief, savors a drink from Grandmother and a sweet insect offered by a neighbor, then kicks a rag ball with a friend until the sun begins to sink. Guiltily recollecting his duty, the boy hurries toward the fields—only to meet his dignified Grandfather quietly bringing the cows in for the night. Smiling brown figures dressed in a mix of modern and traditional clothing fill the foregrounds in Juan’s luminous rural scenes, echoing the poetic text’s happy tone. Drawing on personal experiences, Cunnane opens with an acknowledgement of Kenya’s distinctive tapestry of languages and customs, but then goes on to show qualities in the character, community and play of one particular child of that land that mirror those of children everywhere. A rare excursion, glowing with love and laughter. (glossary) (Picture book. 6-8)