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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Home Now Hardcover – January 15, 2007

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Hardcover, January 15, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Sieta, a young African girl, is having a difficult time accepting her "home now" with her aunt in a busy town. She longs for the life she knew with her loving parents in a friendly village. During a school trip to the elephant park, she forms a special bond with a baby elephant—also an orphan. The connection helps her heal and embrace her new life. The text and illustrations provide a positive glimpse of life in Africa. The evocative watercolors effectively convey the child's loneliness, isolation, and, finally, emotional rejuvenation. The understated narration also creates a poignant sense of her loss. Unfortunately, it is never fully explained. Readers only know that "Sieta saw her mother getting sicker…and thinner…and quieter, and her father getting gentler and softer and sadder. One day they were just not there anymore." Young readers are bound to be left with many questions. An endnote explains the effects of AIDS on many African families. The book will need to be introduced to be fully understood and appreciated. It may fill a void since there are few books about AIDS for this age level, and none set in Africa.—Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
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From Booklist

After her mother and father die, Sieta goes to live with Aunty in a new home, a place she calls "Home Now." Though it's a friendly place, Sieta doesn't smile; she just remembers happy times with Ma and Pa. One day her teacher takes the class to the park, where orphaned elephants live. Sieta feels a special rapport with the smallest elephant, Satara, who is "just like me." She visits Satara often, and it's her picturing the young elephant with her family that helps her accept her "Home Now." Bright yet respectful watercolor-and-gouache illustrations rendered in broad brush strokes gently evoke Sieta's confusion and sadness. Although the text never reveals how Sieta's parents die, an author's note describes the AIDS epidemic in Africa and lists three Web sites. A note identifies the South African township setting and the Knysna Elephant Park referred to in the story. Beake's poignant tale puts a child's face on an international crisis; teachers may want to discuss the story in the classroom. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580891624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580891622
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,180,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An orphan girl and an orphan elephant find comfort through companionship in this gentle picture book set in South Africa.
Sieta is too little to understand what happened to her parents. She only "saw her mother getting sicker . . . and thinner . . . and quieter, and her father getting gentler and softer and sadder. One day they were just not there anymore." Now Sieta lives with Aunty, in the place everyone tells her is her "home now."
Young readers don't need to know the tragic details of Sieta's loss. It's enough that they feel concern for Sieta's loneliness in her new home, then excitement as she meets a real baby elephant with his rough, leathery skin and his wild, elephant smell.
Adults will have to read the author's note at the end of the book to learn that Sieta's parents died of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. According to United Nations data, more than 15 million children under age 18 have lost one or both parents to this disease. It's a problem that will not go away. The number of AIDS orphans worldwide is projected to exceed 25 million by the end of this decade.
Children can sense when something is wrong, and with such an epidemic in the news, they may well be asking difficult questions. Thoughtful parents will appreciate the way Home Now acknowledges that bad things happen and then goes on to offer hope. Sieta's story puts a human face on tragedy in a way that evokes not despair but compassion.
Expressive watercolor and gouache paintings in bright colors and bold strokes share the happiness of Sieta's memories, her wistful confusion at the changes in her life, and the wonder of having a baby elephant for a friend.
Through her sympathy with Satara, the little elephant, Sieta is able to break through her grief. When the children of Home Now ask her to play, she is ready. At last Sieta does smile again--and so will young readers of this exquisitely balanced book.
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By C. Pogue on October 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is illustrated and written beautifully. A very moving and poetic work that pierced my soul as I read it to my daughter.
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