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HOME NOW by Lesley Beake Kirkus Star


by Lesley Beake & illustrated by Karin Littlewood

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-58089-162-4
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Sieta is told that her new village is Home Now. But she remembers another home—during a time when her parents were alive, and together, they tended the geraniums outside their house and attended church on Sundays. There are sad memories too, like when her parents became weak and thin, and when she realized that they were gone. One day during a school trip to the zoo, Sieta sees an orphaned baby elephant and is allowed to stroke him. She returns to see the elephant again and imagines him with his family, running free in a faraway land. Back in Home Now, she sees the village with a fresh eye. When she sees her aunty planting geraniums, Sieta hugs her close; Home Now has now become home. Littlewood’s lush, evocative watercolors place Sieta in the African landscape. This subtle depiction of loss is moving and painful but ultimately a story of survival; Sieta’s grace and strength will help build knowledge, understanding and empathy in readers. An afterword provides information about AIDS in Africa and includes informative websites for further inquiry. (Picture book. 5-9)