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MARRIAGE OF THE RAIN GODDESS by Margaret Olivia Wolfson

MARRIAGE OF THE RAIN GODDESS

By Margaret Olivia Wolfson (Author) , Clifford Alexander Parms (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 11

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-56924-774-9

 The Zulu rain goddess is looking for a husband and none of the gods appeal to her--they are all ``too busy with their spears and shields.'' She flies down to earth and finds a cattle herder who strikes her fancy, and sends him her proposal in a dream. The cattle herder prepares everything for the wedding, while the goddess tests him first, by dressing up a mortal girl in wedding clothes, and shaving off her own hair and covering her face with ash. The groom, however, immediately recognizes the real bride, and the rain goddess knows that she has made the right choice. In Wolfson and Parms's first book, a flowing, incantatory text, inspired by a fragment of a Zulu myth, is encrusted with poetic epithets (``glistening in oil and golden bracelets, her face half-hidden by the twisted leaves''). An afterword describes a little more about Zulu culture and custom, e.g., the goddess gives the cattle herder a love letter in the form of a bead ornament. The big, heavy paintings are filled with expressive bodies and faces, depicted against wide, rainbow-colored backgrounds. So well are text and art wedded that readers will close the book and feel as if they are the ones who have been in a dream. (Picture book/folklore. 6-11)