Houghton Mifflin Social Studies: Big Boy

Overview

Little Oli wants to be big enough to go bird hunting with his older brother, Mbachu, and to his amazement and eventual dismay, his wish to become as big as a mountain and as strong as the wind comes true. "This is a lovely title that speaks to the African experience in an authentic voice. A book that belongs in every collection."-- School Library Journal

Little Oli wants to be big enough to go bird hunting with his brother Mbachu ...

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Overview

Little Oli wants to be big enough to go bird hunting with his older brother, Mbachu, and to his amazement and eventual dismay, his wish to become as big as a mountain and as strong as the wind comes true. "This is a lovely title that speaks to the African experience in an authentic voice. A book that belongs in every collection."-- School Library Journal

Little Oli wants to be big enough to go bird hunting with his brother Mbachu but has to take a nap instead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Buoyed by exceptional illustrations, Mollel (The Flying Tortoise) spins a tale of universal appeal from a scrap of Tanzanian folklore. Oli longs to be a big boy, like his brother Mbachu. One day Oli sneaks out to the woods, where a magical bird grants his wish to be big. Oli grows to Bunyanesque stature, but his enormity causes a series of nightmarish misadventures. Indeed, his growth spurt has been just a dream, and he awakens happily in his mother's arms. Oli rides home on her back, noting that Mbachu is too big to do so. ``He snuggled tighter to his mama. It was good to be little, thought Oli. Sometimes.'' Mollel's story is an engaging fantasy for little ones with big aspirations, but it is Lewis's (Fire on the Mountain) crisp, understated watercolors that steal the show. His pleasing compositions, with their surprising perspectives, incorporate details particular to the Tanzanian setting even as they evoke a sense of boundless space. Ages 4-7. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Inspired by a theme from African folklore, Mollel tells the story of Oli, who is granted a wish by Tunukia-zawadi, a magical bird. Oli grows from a little boy who has to take a daily nap and obey his mother to a boy of great height who can do anything he wants. He neither aids nor hurts anyone with his strength and power, but in the end shows himself to be a child in a gigantic body by the choices he makes and the things he does. Set in modern-day Africa, the story is beautifully illustrated with watercolor paintings. The pictures greatly complement the text, enhancing its natural power to describe. This is a lovely title that speaks to the African experience in an authentic voice. A book that belongs in every collection.-Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
From the Publisher

"This is a lovely title that speaks to the African experience in an authentic voice. A book that belongs in every collection." School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395845158
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author


E.B. Lewis's watercolor paintings appear in BIG BOY and many other picture books. The recipient of a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration, he lives in Folsom, New Jersey.

Tololwa M. Mollel, an Arusha Maasai from Tanzania, grew up on his grandfather's coffee farm, an hour's drive from Mount Kilimanjaro. After receiving his B.A. in Literature and Theatre at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Mr. Mollel went to Canada in 1966 to complete his master's degree at the University of Alberta. In the late 1970s he returned to Tanzania where he was Senior Lecturer and Head of the Theatre Department at the University of Dar es Salaam. At that time he was also co-director of a children's theatre and arts group. Mr. Mollel has written many books for Clarion. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota..

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