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Inspiring Tale for Young and Old
on April 25, 2009
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. The illustrations, done by the author herself, are colorful and detailed, luring young children in to study and imagine. Charming and well-written, this would be a good addition to home and school libraries.