Tower to Heaven

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a winning follow-up to Two Ways to Count to Ten , Dee has teamed up with talented illustrator Bent ( Calypso Alphabet ) to reinterpret a spirited West African tale. When Onyankopon, the Sky God, retreats into the upper reaches of the heavens in order to escape old Yaa's incessant, absent-minded chatter and mortar-pounding, something must be done. After much thought, the busybody determines that the village must ``build a tower that will reach all the way up to heaven.'' Then, if the villagers want to speak to Onyankopon, all they need do is climb up. Unfortunately the tower, built of mortars piled on the top of the tallest mountain, is, to this day, one mortar short. Yaa still stands atop the tower, nattering to the Sky God and calling for ``one more mortar!'' Youngsters will warm to the story's sly humor enlivened by boldly defined and vividly colored primitive art. Ages 4-7. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- There was a time, so this story begins, when the god of the sky lived near the earth and people could talk to him whenever the need arose. But as time went on and the villagers became too busy to talk to Onyankopon, the job of spokesperson went to a silly old woman named Yaa, who was careless and forgetful. When she irritates the sky god so much that he moves his residence far away from the earth, Yaa decides that they must build a tower out of mortar bowls up to the heavens. Of course, they are just one bowl short of their goal, and here hangs the precarious tale of foolish Yaa and how she elects to get that extra bowl. Many readers have met the sky god before, especially in tales from West Africa. He is generally depicted as an imposing figure holding a cowtail switch, sitting atop a gold stool. So it is here as in Gail Haley's A Story, A Story (Atheneum, 1970). The illustrations, done in concentrated inks, appear almost fluorescent. Heavy black outlining makes them jump off the page and meet readers half way. The simple folk-style drawings are perfect for this tale. Good, solid telling makes this an easy choice for reading aloud, but it is the riot of colors that is riveting. --Denia Lewis Hester, Dewey School, Evanston, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805014600
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/15/1991
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years

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