Subira Subira

Overview

When Tatu finds she can do nothing to improve her little brother's hateful behavior and make him happy again, she goes to an old spirit woman for help. The spirit woman tells Tatu that to cure Maulidi, she must pluck three whiskers from a lion! Armed only with a song, Tatu steals out into the moonlit night to undertake her impossible task. Acclaimed storyteller Tololwa M. Mollel sets his satisfying retelling of a traditional folktale in contemporary Tanzania, beautifully depicted in Linda Saport's lush ...

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0618689265 9780618689262

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Overview

When Tatu finds she can do nothing to improve her little brother's hateful behavior and make him happy again, she goes to an old spirit woman for help. The spirit woman tells Tatu that to cure Maulidi, she must pluck three whiskers from a lion! Armed only with a song, Tatu steals out into the moonlit night to undertake her impossible task. Acclaimed storyteller Tololwa M. Mollel sets his satisfying retelling of a traditional folktale in contemporary Tanzania, beautifully depicted in Linda Saport's lush illustrations. An author's note and the music for Tatu's song follow the story.

Set in contemporary Tanzania, this variation on a traditional tale describes how a young girl learns a lesson in patience when a spirit woman sends her to get three whiskers from a lion.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Tololwa Mollel, an acclaimed storyteller in his native Tanzania, has adapted another traditional African tale complimented by Linda Saport's warm, round illustrations in vibrant but softly brushed pastels. Tatu must care for her difficult little brother Maulidi while their widowed father spends long days at work. Tatu visits a wise old woman in the forest who instructs her to return with three whiskers from a lion. She learns that the same quality that enabled her to pluck the whiskers from the lion will be useful with her little brother--patience. Patience is the translation of the book's Swahili title Subira Subira as well as a Swahili song that Tatu sings. Music for the song is included in the book. American children may want a more dramatic conclusion to the story, but the moral of this tale can open the door to an understanding and even a discussion about the quality of patience that so often eludes children. 2000, Clarion Books, Ages 5 to 8, $15.00. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
From the Publisher
"Saport's richly colored pastel illustrations express the magic and the everyday in the Tanzanian village. Most powerful are the flowing scenes of the brave girl and the lion, first far apart, then in a stroking embrace that's both metaphor and stirring story." Booklist, ALA, Boxed Review

"Adding a touch of magic, Mollel retells a traditional Tanzanian folktale about the costs and pleasures of taming a wild-child younger brother. Saport's pastels are so rich with deep blues, russets, golds, and ambers that they belie their name. Her illustrations flow acoss the spreads, masterfully supporting the story while adding mood and characterization. . . . A subtle message, which avoids didacticism through the simplicity of its language and the power of its illustrations."

Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"A Tanzanian girl discovers the all-important secret to getting along with her younger brother in this compelling adaptation of an African folktale. Following the death of their mother, Tatu must take on the responsibility of caring for Maulidi after school, while their father is still at work. . . . Saport’s rough-hewn pastels skillfully blend elements of mystery and everyday life in depictions of a spooky nighttime forest and glowing-eyed lion or of village children walking to school. Her luminous, almost electric indigos and golds suggest not only exotic climes but the magic of the text."

Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Readers-aloud and storytellers will appreciate Mollel's fresh take on this oft-interpreted tale." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The marriage of a poignantly written tale with sophisticated artwork revitalizes a time-honored story." School Library Journal, Starred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618689262
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

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..

Linda Saport has illustrated many distinctive picture books, amoung them Subira Subira by Tololwa M. Mollel and All the Pretty Little Horses: A Lullaby. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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