Sivu's Six Wishes

Overview

The stonemason Sivu can create extraordinary things out of rock. But he is poor, and as time goes by he becomes bitter and envious. If only he could be rich and powerful — surely then he would be happy? When Sivu's wish is mysteriously granted six times, however, transforming him by turn into a rich businessman, the mayor, the sun, a rain cloud, and a great rock, he learns that sometimes people have the most power just by being themselves. Using clear, elegant storytelling and exquisite illustrations, Jude Daly ...
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Overview

The stonemason Sivu can create extraordinary things out of rock. But he is poor, and as time goes by he becomes bitter and envious. If only he could be rich and powerful — surely then he would be happy? When Sivu's wish is mysteriously granted six times, however, transforming him by turn into a rich businessman, the mayor, the sun, a rain cloud, and a great rock, he learns that sometimes people have the most power just by being themselves. Using clear, elegant storytelling and exquisite illustrations, Jude Daly translates the timeless Taoist story of The Stonecutter to a modern-day African setting, conveying a timeless message for our own age.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Daly retells the Taoist tale of Sivu, a stonecutter whose wishes to become increasingly powerful are swiftly granted. Watching jealously, the fickle Sivu wishes to become a businessman, the mayor, the sun, the rain (which blocks the sun), the wind (which blows away the rain clouds), and finally a piece of stone--whereupon he finds himself being hammered on by a stonecutter. Though the story is from ancient China, Daly (To Everything There Is a Season) sets it in modern Africa. Sivu and the people who surround him have an assortment of white and brown faces, cars speed along the highway, and the mayor rides in a white limousine. Spare acrylics are warmed by African oranges, blues, and earth tones. Lighthearted at the start ("What a life!" Daly describes Sivu's career in business. "With the snap of his fingers... he would declare that a shipment of wool was too woolly"), the storytelling darkens progressively ("Soon the country was gripped by drought," says Daly, after Sivu becomes the sun, "and everybody cursed him"). A stark portrait of the futility of envy. Ages 6-10. (July)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Sivu, a poor stone carver, carves the figures he sees within the rocks he shapes. Admiring the home of a wealthy businessman, he wishes he could be one. To his amazement, he suddenly is. But despite his power, no one likes him. When he has to stop for the mayor one day, he wishes to be that powerful; and then he is. He ruins others, and they hate him. One day, giving a speech in the sunshine, he realizes the power of the sun and wants to be him. From there he moves on to become the more powerful rain cloud, then the drying wind. But then his power is stopped by a rock. Becoming a rock, he has come full circle with his ambitious but destructive wishes. There is a sparse quality to the contemporary visualization of this traditional Taoist tale. Stylized acrylic paintings supply sufficient detail to carry the narrative with townspeople in the city, people floating in a storm, and four trees uprooted by the wind. There are added notes on the retelling of the folk tale also known as "The Stone Cutter." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—A stunningly illustrated retelling of a Taoist tale from ancient China. Sivu is a talented stonecutter. People are amazed at what he can make from simple rocks. But he doesn't make much money from his craft and soon becomes bitter. While carving an elegant statue for a rich man, he wishes that he could be that rich man and suddenly, he becomes him. However, this does not satisfy him; his wishes for more power escalate, until everyone hates him. When his final wish leaves him as immovable as the earth, he learns a valuable lesson about humility. Daly's folk-style illustrations convey a magical land of desert, ocean, and exotic animals. The exaggerated human figures are stylized and captivating. Simple landscapes underscore a towering Sivu as he becomes the elements of sun, rain, wind, and eventually rock. The tale is a didactic one—be careful what you wish for—and Sivu learns his lesson. An excellent addition to a unit on Eastern philosophy, literature, or religion.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853691
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 1,039,802
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jude Daly is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator whose previous titles include To Everything There Is a Season (Eerdmans), The Gift of the Sun by Dianne Stewart, which was chosen as an IBBY Honour Book for Illustration, The Elephant's Pillow by Diana Reynolds Roome, which was awarded a Parents' Choice Silver Honor (all Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and Lila and the Secret of Rain by David Conway, which won a Parents' Choice Gold award (Frances Lincoln). Jude lives in Cape Town with her husband, author and illustrator Niki Daly.
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First Chapter

Sivu's Six Wishes


By Frances Lincoln

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2010 Frances Lincoln
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5369-1


Chapter One

Sivu was a stonemason who created extraordinary things from stone. Before he began carving, he would stare into the rock until he saw a shape in it. Then slowly, slowly, he would chip away with his hammer and chisel.

People would watch in awe as he coaxed an animal or person out of the lifeless rock. He sold whatever he created, but he never made much money, and he grew bitter and disappointed.

One day, Sivu was carving a statue for a rich businessman's wife. It was hard work, and while he rested, he looked at the businessman's grand house and thought, "How powerful that man must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the businessman.

Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the businessman. What a life! With the snap of his fingers, he would demand a meal in the middle of the night. With the next snap, he would declare that a shipment of wool was too woolly.

On and on he would argue, until the defeated wool trader settled for a lower price. Sivu had more power and possessions than he could ever want, but now his life was miserable because everyone disliked him.

One day, coming home after arguing about some oranges that he said were too orange, Sivu was held up by a procession. It was the mayor and his officials, and everyone had to stop while the procession went by. As Sivu waited and watched, he thought, "How powerful that mayor must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the mayor.

Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the mayor. What a life! Wherever he went, people stepped aside for him.

He was promised this and promised that if only he would approve this and approve that. He had the power to ruin people, and they all hated him.

One day, Sivu was opening the new botanical gardens. It was so hot that the people and the flowers were wilting under the sun, but Sivu went on with his speech. When he finished, everyone clapped and cheered, while he gazed up at the sun shining proudly in the sky. As Sivu gazed, he thought, "How powerful that sun must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the sun!

Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the sun. What a life! He shone down fiercely on the new botanical gardens and the farmlands.

He scorched the fields and dried up the rivers. Soon the country was gripped by drought, and everybody cursed him.

One day, a huge rain cloud moved between Sivu and the Earth. He tried to burn it away, but the cloud blocked out his rays, and the Earth started to cool. Sivu thought, "How powerful that rain cloud must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE a rain cloud.

Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS a rain cloud. What a life! He flooded the fields and turned roads into rivers.

The waters rose, forcing everyone to leave their homes. And as they waded through the rising water, people shouted and swore at Sivu.

One day, Sivu felt himself being swept along by the wind. He went on raining, but the rain fell further and further out to sea. As Sivu's torrent turned to a trickle and then dried up, he thought, "How powerful that wind must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the wind.

Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the wind. What a life! He blew hats and kites away and ripped up trees by their roots.

He even blew a great ship off course. Nothing escaped his force, and everyone hurled insults at him.

One day, Sivu blew against something that would not move. No matter how hard he blew, he couldn't move it. It was an enormous rock. As Sivu blew around it, he thought, "How powerful that rock must be!"

And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE a rock.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Sivu's Six Wishes by Frances Lincoln Copyright © 2010 by Frances Lincoln . Excerpted by permission of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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