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Children's LiteratureIn his southern African village, gentle, wise Chirobo tends his garden, tells stories to the children, and gives good advice to all who ask, despite being blind. One day Muteye, a young hunter, comes to talk and share his dinner. Chirobo asks to hunt with him. Muteye agrees, saying that whatever Chirobo catches in one of his traps will be his. But of course he thinks that a blind man cannot hunt. Still, as they walk through the trees, Chirobo warns of dangers that Muteye does not see, for Chirobo "sees" with his ears, nose, and skin. The next day, when he checks the traps, Muteye, jealous of Chirobo's superior catch, switches it with his own. Chirobo knows and shames him about it. Muteye asks for forgiveness. Chirobo tells him he must "see with his heart." This serious, moral tale is given a subdued naturalistic visual setting. Double-page scenes employ oil-based colored pencils for details of trees, animals, and human actors and watercolor washes for skies and landscapes, images of Africa. The two men are depicted sympathetically, so it is easy to accept the tale's ethical message. An introductory background note is included. 2003, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 5 to 9.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz