The Orphan Boy

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Seaching the sky for a familiar star, an old man encounters a mysterious boy, Kileken. As he comes to love the boy as a son, he agrees to let him keep the one thing he owns: a secret.

Though delighted that an orphan boy has come into his life, an old man becomes insatiably curious about the boy's mysterious powers.

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Overview

Seaching the sky for a familiar star, an old man encounters a mysterious boy, Kileken. As he comes to love the boy as a son, he agrees to let him keep the one thing he owns: a secret.

Though delighted that an orphan boy has come into his life, an old man becomes insatiably curious about the boy's mysterious powers.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A lyrically retold story, illustrated with richly luminous paintings." Booklist, ALA

"Infused with an aura of mystery, Mollel's compelling story is told skillfully and dramatically. Morin's richly textured paintings . . . are worthy companions. . . . This striking picture book is a splendid addition to the increasingly popular ranks of multicultural children's literature." Publishers Weekly

"Outstanding." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Usable with other myths or legends, as a story of youth and age, as a window into an African culture, or for the sheer beauty of the illustrations, this is a book that will widen the world of its readers." School Library Journal, Starred

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised the ``richly textured paintings'' and ``compelling'' plot of this magical fable set in Africa. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- In this story, as in tales of the ``Magic Tree,'' the ``Crane Wife,'' or the ``Selkie,'' a magic creature takes human shape and showers good fortune on a man until the stranger's secret being is revealed and the alien departs. In this legend from the Maasai, a star takes the shape of a young orphan boy, bringing comfort, companionship, and bounty to an impoverished herdsman. The old man dotes on his mysterious ``son'' but, overcome by curiosity and urged on by an unnamed shadow figure, he discovers how the boy turns the harsh, dry land into green pasture. His secret powers discovered, the boy returns to the sky, to appear again as the planet Venus, the morning star. This ancient myth, told to Mollel by his grandfather, is accompanied by magnificent oil paintings of Africa in which the colorfully clad old tribesman and the lush green grassland contrast with pictures of arid, sun-drenched plains, baked dry by heat and drought. The design is beautiful, with a narrow border of beadwork providing a continuous link through the pages, and with dark endpapers featuring a shadowy block print providing a frame for the whole tale. Usable with other myths or legends, as a story of youth and age, as a window into an African culture, or for the sheer beauty of the illustrations, this is a book that will widen the world of its readers. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395720790
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.13 (w) x 11.13 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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