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And in the Beginning. . .

And in the Beginning. . .

by Sheron Williams, Robert Roth

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-- In Grandmother Shammama's version of creation, Mahtmi the Blessed One combines divine power with human perplexity. He creates the first being, Kwanza, in his own image. But after he allows Kwanza to go off on his own into the new world, Mahtmi suffers from loneliness and makes other humans--from the red soil of Georgia and the sand of Normandy, with fish eyes and horsehair. When Kwanza returns he is sadly put out, forgetting in his jealousy that he himself received deer's eyes and pearls for teeth. Mahtmi kindly bestows one last token of his special love for Kwanza: he tightly curls every hair on the young man's head. The manifest message of pride and self-esteem is carried in a story of gentle humor and pithy observation. Both Kwanza and Mahtmi are easy to relate to, and the vernacular narrative encourages such connection. Williams uses quasi-dialectal speech (``For you see, Mahtmi understands our needs even when we ain't got a firm grip on them in our own minds.'' Its rhythms should make this a good read-aloud. Roth's superbly stylish watercolors are a wonderful complement. Their spare forms balance the fullness of the text and lend it a relaxed elegance. His depiction of Mahtmi and Kwanza offers as compelling a reason for black pride as the story itself. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.87(w) x 9.84(h) x (d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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