From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1?Young readers and listeners will follow Ndito on a joyous romp through the Kenyan countryside as she heads to school. Dressed in a uniform, she begins her journey running through her village, passing various inhabitants in their native dress. As she heads out onto the savanna, she imagines being a number of animals, which are pictured, including a dik-dik, crane, and flamingo. Van der Merwe, a South African artist, makes a promising picture-book debut as her acrylic paintings fill the pages, bringing both the African countryside and the young protagonist to life. In her acknowledgments, Anderson points out how "Most children in the Kenyan highlands grow up running miles each day to get to school, and several have gone on to join the ranks of the fastest runners in the world." Even with the increasing number of multicultural titles being published, few have this book's melding of illustration and text. Pair it with one of Hugh Lewin's "Jafta" stories to take youngsters on a trip to a different part of the world.?Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. A small girl in the Kenyan highlands runs barefoot from her village home to school. As she runs, she calls up animal dreams to keep her company--she gallops like a wildebeest, hops like a dik-dik, floats like a gazelle--and feels herself part of the world she loves. There's not much story: the journey is a way to tell us about her place and her way of life, but it is an exciting world and the wild animals are a natural part of it. An author's note points out that most children in the Kenyan highlands run miles each day to school, and several have gone on to become world-champion runners. The simple, poetic words and the vital brown-and red-shaded acrylic paintings express Ndito's exhilaration and her connection with nature and with people. She sees crowned cranes sweep across the sky and thousands of flamingos take to the air at the waterhole, and the shadows and sunlight of the early morning weave rhythmic patterns that run with her to school. Hazel Rochman