From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A warm, intergenerational story set in Zimbabwe. Kukamba travels from her home in the city to visit her grandmother in her village. Gugu has painted her compound with vivid colors and patterns, and has sculpted many animals including a larger-than-life zebra. She is an artist and she shares her secrets of mixing the colors for paint; there is red in the riverbed clay, white in the ash from the fire, and green in cattle dung. Kukamba discovers that she, too, has an artistic flair and the two create beautiful paintings together. Gugu's house is a gathering place for the villagers, and since the area has been experiencing a long drought, her stories add a welcome dose of humor to their somber moods. The rains finally come and the village is overjoyed. Kukamba is upset because the paintings and sculptures have all washed away, but Gugu shows her that nature has emerged with her own colors after the rain. The mood of the text is perfectly mirrored in the watercolor illustrations. The concern and despair over the drought give way to the sheer joy in the rains and the burst of color at the end. This will be a wonderful read-aloud, particularly when paired with Ifeoma Onyefulu's Grandfather's Work (Millbrook, 1998), or useful as a literature tie-in to a lesson on Africa.-Genevieve Ceraldi, New York Public Library
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved