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Chipo's Gift Paperback – August 12, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (August 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419655647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419655647
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,771,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Deb Troehler's maiden opus is rich material. Teachers, parents and children can successfully mine this little story for many treasures. Educators and parents will welcome a story that is well thought-out and meticulously seeded with so many launching points for lessons, activities, and curious questions. Chipo's Gift is twice as precious because children are given a very engaging story to wrap their minds around. From a simple story line, Deb Troehler weaves a delightful tale that will send children to interesting places, shift their perspective, and inspire them to explore their gifts.

Chipo is a mopane worm living in a mopani tree with her other brothers and sisters. She and her brothers and sisters lived the simple life of eating mopani leaves everyday until the day of their long sleep, which would turn them into mopane moths like their elders. Chipo however is more curious and more daring than her brothers and sisters. Who else but a curious little worm would discover that rain the night before plus the morning sun would cause beautiful jeweled droplets of different colors at the top of her mopani tree!

That curiosity starts her off on an extraordinary trip. The start of Chipo's adventure, when she sees the "two trees with leaves of every color imaginable" for the first time, became my favorite part of the story because of how the writing and the illustration was sequenced in the book. The tree is described in the previous page, and as I turned to the next page to see its picture I let out a surprised "oh!" and knew Chipo was on her way to very new and different places. Throughout the adventure, Chipo's curiosity never flags, her adventurous spirit never wanes, and her family is ever in her heart.
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Format: Paperback
Chipo's gift is a heart-warming tale about taking risks, adapting to unexpected circumstances, and the ultimate resiliency of nature (and the human spirit). Very often young children see themselves as unimportant, unable to accomplish tasks thrust upon them, and unwilling to strive through and surpass diffucult cirumstances. The youth of today theoretically live in their own cocoon, anticipating a future that seems daunting and uncertain. Just as Chipo is surprised and amazed at his own reflection in the puddle, children will one day find their own special gift awaitng them on the "other side of childhood." Adults and young people alike will enjoy the message of hope found in a small (and seemingly insignificant) mopane worm.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Deb Troehler has created a very sweet and inspiring tale with CHIPO'S GIFT. Set initially in South Africa, the little worm lives a peaceful life, but seeks more, and is eventually whisked away to a faraway land. She had been happy in her treetop home, relishing the beauty of the trees, and especially of the rainbow colors she saw each morning reflected in the dew drops. She looked forward to the time that she would awake from her "long sleep" to become a beautiful adult, with colorful wings, and to be able to soar around freely to explore more of the world's beauty.

When she followed her curiosity higher and higher into the tree top, she was thrilled by the beauty she saw, but she slipped and fell into a tree with leaves of "every color imaginable." What a surprise for Chipo, and for the reader to turn the page and see, that she had landed on a clothesline filled with beautiful, colorful African garments!

Before she knew it, she found herself in a strange and different land. The illustration, which showed clearly her voyage from the south of Africa to North America, added that geographical detail to enrich the story. The little worm's ability to adapt and be resourceful is a lesson for us all, as life throws us unexpected curves. At the end, she wakes from her "long sleep" to discover her own beautiful wing colors reflected in a puddle of water. SHE had become the beauty she sought, and now SHE could soar. Such a gift, to realize one's special talents. This lesson, that everyone has special gifts to develop, is an encourgaging one for young children.

Having taught kindergarten (yes, raising caterpillars, of course!), the elementary grades, and middle school English and history, I know this tale would be appreciated by many ages, at many levels.
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Format: Paperback
REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker, reviewer with Stories for Children Magazine

Do you know what a mopane worm is and where it can be found? Chipo is an ordinary mopane worm who lives on the South African plain with her brothers and sisters in their mopani tree. She eats leaves and plays with the elder moths. While she knows that she must grow strong and be ready for her long sleep, she is very curious and not totally satisfied with her life. One day, after a rainstorm, she sees a rainbow as the sun reflects off the water droplets, so she climbs higher and higher to find another rainbow. There she notices a pair of "trees" much different from hers with "leaves" that are very colorful. When she goes to investigate, she is accidentally sent on an amazing journey that leads to a new life. What is going to happen to Chipo? And will she be able to adapt?

The name "Chipo" comes from the African nation of Zimbabwe and means "gift." Most of us think of a gift as just a present, but as children have this book read to them, they will learn that a gift can be much more than that. Sometimes a "gift" is an opportunity. Even though Chico's new life is not exactly what she had imagined, she learns to make the best of what occurs. Children will be encouraged to follow their dreams as well. Also, the story contains interesting information about the habitat and life cycle of mopane worms. Author Deb Troehler is a former special education teacher, and her website contains free educational resources, which include a multi-disciplinary thematic unit with extension activities for parents and teachers to use with children. Chipo's Gift is a fascinating book that I believe children will really enjoy, and I highly recommend it.
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