A delightful introduction to a lively way of life.

READ REVIEW

ALL ABOARD FOR THE BOBO ROAD

Climb onboard a busy bus in Burkina Faso.

A brother and sister accompany their father as he drives his minibus on a long and winding road to Bobo in Burkina Faso. Fatima and Galo are excited to begin their journey, one that passes hippos in the lake, waterfalls, old rock domes, and forests. As they enter the city, they drive by fruit stands and the Grand Mosque, finally ending the trip at a railway station. The people, their luggage, sacks of rice, yams, watermelons, ducks, goats, and chickens—all come off. The travelers can now sell their wares, cook, and ride off on their bicycles and mopeds (also on the bus). But wait, there is one more wrapped package, and it is the best treat for Fatima and Galo: a “huge pot of rice, beans, and fried fish!” Davies, author of Don’t Spill the Milk!, also illustrated by Corr (2013), who has lived in West Africa for years, gives readers an enchanting portrait of daily life along with opportunities to count goats, hippos, ducks, and more. Corr’s folk-style gouache paintings pulsate with energy, bright colors, and design patterns. The natural world, the people, and the animals of Burkina Faso all have great appeal. Double-page maps open and close the tale, highlighting the colorful route.

A delightful introduction to a lively way of life. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1598-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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