From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Chirobo lives a quiet life in an African village where he is respected for his storytelling and renowned for his wisdom. When a young hunter passes through, Chirobo asks if he can join him the next day. Muteye is hesitant to bring along an older, blind man but soon discovers that his companion is able to "see" with his other senses and that this ability helps them avoid a leopard, warthogs, and rhinos. When Muteye tries to trick Chirobo out of his catch, the older man teaches him to "see" with his heart and do the right thing. In an author's note, Rodanas explains that this original story was inspired by an African folktale, and the narrative's pacing, repetition, and moral conclusion attest to its origin. The lush, detailed illustrations, done in oil pastels and watercolor washes, show realistic landscapes and people. Framed by white borders, the richly colored pictures captivate the eye and would work well with groups. A thoughtful and satisfying book.Tali Balas, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
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K-Gr. 2. Inspired by a Shona folktale from southern Africa, this picture book uses a wild setting to teach a universal lesson. Although Chirobo is blind, he shows a young stranger, Muteye, that he can "see" with his ears, his nose, and his skin, and that learning comes from the heart. When the two men go out hunting, the young, confident Muteye leads the way, holding one end of a long stick. Chirobo walks behind, clutching the other end. But it's Chirobo who keeps them safe; he hears the dangerous leopard, smells the herd of warthogs in the forest, and feels the vibrations of rhinos stamping through the grass. Then Muteye steals the bird from Chirobo's trap, and Chirobo knows. The clear, glowing artwork, in oil-based colored pencil applied over watercolor, starts off in the traditional village and then shows the journey from brush to forest and waterhole. The message is heavy, more fable that story, but kids will be caught by the triumph of the underdog on a wilderness adventure. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved