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SITTI'S SECRETS by Naomi Shihab Nye


by Naomi Shihab Nye & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-768460-1
Publisher: Four Winds/MacMillan

 Drowsing in bed or aloft in her swing at home in the US, Mona recalls visiting ``Sitti'' (Grandma) on ``the other side of the earth.'' Though Sitti speaks only Arabic (she and Mona ``talked through my father, as if he were a telephone''), the two had their own language of gestures and glances, hums, and claps. Sitti showed Mona around her neighborhood and shared with her the pleasure of traditional household tasks. Nye, a poet who edited This Same Sky (1992, ALA Notable), deftly assembles particulars signifying the warm and enduring bond growing between Sitti and her American granddaughter, recounting the incidents with quiet eloquence. In Carpenter's collages, vigorously painted figures and settings are enriched with photographed details, fabric patterns, and--in a striking opening spread--a global map as a delicate underlay. Mona's narrative concludes with an explicit, heartfelt plea for peace, addressed to the President of the US; but the universal humanity that's implicit in her lyrical portrait of Sitti is more powerful still. (Picture book. 4-9)