A young boy and his jjajja share memories and wishes in this tender tale set in Uganda.
Have you ever wished to “ride a supernova straight to Mars” or travel to the spice markets of Zanzibar or ride a crane to a large feast? This young Ugandan protagonist awakes from these very dreams to dark clouds and rain. The boy and his grandfather spend the day doing such chores as packing peas, clearing wet bamboo leaves from the veranda, and cleaning the tilapia for a fish stew. With every task, Jjajja shares stories: about a childhood friend and fishing trips with his father. And after dinner, Jjajja shares his love of books filled with beloved tales of African kingdoms. Unfolding in rhyme, Isdahl’s tale amply demonstrates how sharing stories can make even a rainy day full of chores an adventure. Van Doorn’s illustrations capture the story in muted grays, browns, and blues. The stylized typeface gives a touch of texture, and the characters look almost like stick figures with their round heads and thin limbs. Details include a small white dog who joins in each activity with understated whimsy.
This gentle bedtime story is rich in Ugandan culture and universal nostalgia as it celebrates a boy’s great love for his grandfather. (Picture book. 5-8)