The Village of Round and Square Houses

Overview

The village of Tos is like no other village in the world, for in this village the women live in round houses and the men live in square ones. The story of how this came to be is told from the point of view of a young girl who grew up there.

Ann Grifalconi's bold, dynamic art and rhythmic storytelling recreate this world and make The Village of Round and Square Houses a perfect book for reading aloud.

A grandmother explains to her ...

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Overview

The village of Tos is like no other village in the world, for in this village the women live in round houses and the men live in square ones. The story of how this came to be is told from the point of view of a young girl who grew up there.

Ann Grifalconi's bold, dynamic art and rhythmic storytelling recreate this world and make The Village of Round and Square Houses a perfect book for reading aloud.

A grandmother explains to her listeners why in their village on the side of a volcano the men live in square houses and the women in round ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tos is an actual village, on the side of an inactive volcano in Central Africa. It is the village in the book's title, where women dwell in round thatch-roofed huts and men live in square ones. This book tells the story of how the houses were so designated, in the aftermath of the volcano releasing its full fury on the village. Grifalconi effortlessly embroiders the customs of the village into her melodious narration. The author, who has illustrated over 50 children's books, including Lucille Clifton's Everett Anderson books, here illustrates her own tale, told to her by a young girl who grew up in Tos. The resting purple volcano, suddenly erupting into orange; the eerie orange sun; the villagers covered with ash; the purple and orange skies; the dense, lush junglesall are captured beautifully by Grifalconi's art. (48)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4 The telling of this beautifully coordinated African folk tale is shared by a little girl and her grandmother who live in the village of Tos in West Central Africa. This village in Cameroons is located at the foot of Naka Mountain, which is believed by the grandmother to be partially responsible for the ``natural order of things'' which specifies that the men of the village reside in the square houses and the women in the round houses. The first half of the book describes the events of a typical day among the members of the young girl's family: work in the fields; the supper preparation; eating the meal; the post-mealtime relaxation. When Gran'ma Tika finishes smoking her pipe, she becomes the storyteller for the second half of the book as she tells her granddaughter about the time Naka Mountain erupted. The villagers were miraculously spared, but the village was destroyed except for two housesone square and one round. The village chief, unable to distinguish his ash-covered subjects, assigned the ``tall gray things'' (men) to live in the square house, and the ``round gray things'' (women) to live in the round house. Sensitive chalk drawings emit expressions of dignity, strength, love and warmth among the characters. Appropriate and complementary earth tones predominate. The skills which Grifalconi exhibited in her City Rhythms (Bobbs-Merrill, 1965; o.p.) are perfected in this exquisitely beautiful and appealing book. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316328623
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/30/1986
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 417,811
  • Age range: 1 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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