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The Gift of the Sun: A Tale from South Africa
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The Gift of the Sun: A Tale from South Africa

by Dianne Stewart, Jude Daly (Illustrator)
 

All Thulani wants is a simple life basking in the sun. Tired of milking the co, he exchanges it for a goat ... the goat for a sheep ... the sheep for three geese ... until all he has left is a pocketful of sunflower seeds!

But the sunflower seeds feed the hens, the hens lay more eggs than ever, and before long Thyulani is enjoying the gift of his newfound

Overview

All Thulani wants is a simple life basking in the sun. Tired of milking the co, he exchanges it for a goat ... the goat for a sheep ... the sheep for three geese ... until all he has left is a pocketful of sunflower seeds!

But the sunflower seeds feed the hens, the hens lay more eggs than ever, and before long Thyulani is enjoying the gift of his newfound fortune.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The South African creators of The Dove turn out a lighthearted story about a husband and wife and their small farm. Trying to reduce his workload so as to spend more time basking in the sun, Thulani decides to sell their cow and buy a goat instead ("I'm tired of all this milking," he says to himself). When the goat eats the couple's entire store of dried corn, Thulani sells it and gets a sheep instead. This sequential tale has the fellow replacing one animal after another, until finally he trades three geese for some sunflower seeds that unexpectedly change the farm's fortunes and cure Thulani of his lazy ways. Kids will be pleased as the story comes satisfyingly full-circle with Thulani's reform effected without any didacticism. Creatively tinkering with traditional perspective and scale, Daly's comically detailed, folk art-like pictures have the same playfulness as Stewart's storytelling. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3Thulani loves to spend his days sitting in the sun and hates to have his leisure interrupted by chores. Tired of milking the cow, he trades her in for a goat. When the goat gets into the corn seed, he exchanges it for a sheep. When shearing it is too much trouble, he buys some geese. With each trade, his hard-working wife becomes more and more exasperated. Thinking to please her, the man exchanges the geese for a bag of seeds. But when they sprout, Dora is more upset than ever. It seems that he won't ever make her happy. However, when Thulani feeds the sunflower seeds to the chickens, the hens begin to lay more eggs, and, in the end, the story has come full circle. Dora is delighted, and Thulani is now busy trading animals. His favorite time of day is milking timewhen he can finally sit down and have a quiet think. Daly's paintings add to the charm of this story. Bright gold end papers scattered with seeds introduce the good-humored mood. The color scheme of soft greens and golds emphasizes the warm pastoral setting. This is a fresh, funny variation on the "Lazy Jack'' theme, with illustrations done in a folkart style and filled with little details of South African rural life.Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
Kirkus Reviews
The plainspoken tale of a rural South African who seeks to simplify his life by selling his encumbrances. Thulani prefers basking in the sun to milking his cow, so he sells the cow and buys a goat. He continues to trade down, until he is left with nothing more than some sunflower seeds. In a twist of fate, the sunflower seeds lead Thulani back to prosperity. After he acquires a whole yard full of animals, he becomes so busy trading them that he doesn't have any time to languish in the sunshine. He realizes that milking cows leads to some of his best thinking. Daly's atmospheric illustrations—a folk-art style that finds precision in the shape of seeds—capture the spare beauty of life in rural South Africa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845077877
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
06/08/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dianne Stewart lives in Natal, South Africa. She studied Psychology and African languages in order to be able to communicate with the people around her in their own languages. Her titles for Frances Lincoln include The Gift of the Sun, which was chosen as one of Child Education's Best Books of 1996.Niki Daly has won many awards for his work. His groundbreaking Not So fast Songololo, winner of a U.S Parent's Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children's books. Since then, he has been widely published and has spoken in several countries. Among his many books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner in the U.S. Children's Africana Book Awards, and Jamela's Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children's Book and by Booklist as one of the Top Ten African American Picture Books of 2000. Both live in Cape Town, South Africa.

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