Waiting for the Owl's Call
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Waiting for the Owl's Call

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by Gloria Whelan, Pascal Milelli
     
 

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Eight-year-old Zulviya, her sister and her cousin, her mother and her grandmother... they all belong to the loom. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. The rugs are valuable and the women are proud of their beautiful handiwork. But the work is hard. It takes months to weave a rug; each one contains hundreds of

Overview

Eight-year-old Zulviya, her sister and her cousin, her mother and her grandmother... they all belong to the loom. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. The rugs are valuable and the women are proud of their beautiful handiwork. But the work is hard. It takes months to weave a rug; each one contains hundreds of thousands of knots. Before one work day has passed, Zulviya will tie thousands of knots. As she sits at her work, Zulviya weaves not one but two patterns. The pattern on the loom will become a fine rug. She weaves a second pattern in her mind. There she sees the green of the Afghani hills, the bright blue of the nearby lake, and the vivid orange of the setting sun. And Zulviya takes comfort in the landscape in her mind.To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com! Gloria Whelan's other picture books in the Tales of the World series are Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers (2008 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner) and Yatandou (a Junior Library Guild selection). Ms. Whelan lives in Michigan. Pascal Milelli's illustration clients include Harper's, The Atlantic, and Scribner Books. His picture book, The Art Room, by Susan Vande Griek, received the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award from the Canadian Library Association in 2003. Pascal lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This offering from the "Sleeping Bear's Press Tales of the World" series focuses on the experiences of an eight-year-old Turkastani girl in Afghanistan who works as a rug weaver. Through Zulviya's eyes, we learn of the hard work and skilled workmanship that goes into weaving this culture's fine rugs. We are also helped to appreciate that even as one works to increase their ability and skill level in crafting traditional-style rugs, it is possible to aspire to create a unique pattern that will honor the tradition. Milelli's impressionistic illustrations are dotted with elements of rug weaving craft, such as balls of yarn and looms. An afterword provides information about some of the not-for-profit organizations that offer a world market for rugs and other handcrafts. At this contentious point in history, there is real value to be found in an informational book that ignores the country's difficult political situation and focuses on the humanity and strengths of the Afghani people. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Eight-year-old Zulviya lives in Afghanistan. She, her sister, and her cousin all join the women and girls of the village in weaving rugs all day. The work is hard on their hands, on their eyes, and on their legs and feet as they tie knots, stare at the loom, and sit for hours working with rough wool. Zulviya weaves her mother's and grandmother's pattern, but "the second pattern I weave in my head. It is all my own." In her daydreams, her patterns are filled with the sights, sounds, and things she likes, such as mulberries, "which would take away our thirst, but we are not allowed to eat them. The juice would stain our fingers." In reality, when her fingers bleed, her mother binds them so the blood does not get on the rug. At lunch, Zulviya and her sister speak of school, but school is a two-day walk from her village. By story's end, Zulviya's back aches, her fingers stumble, and the pattern in her mind is gone. She waits to hear the owl, because its call means that she is finished for that day. This sad, poignant story, accompanied by Milelli's large, evocative paintings, portrays the stolen childhoods of youngsters involved in illegal child labor. An author's note informs readers that many of the beautifully woven rugs sold today are made by child workers like Zulviya.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585364183
Publisher:
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
09/14/2009
Series:
Tales of the World
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
775,371
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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