Yatandou, the eight-year-old narrator of this lyrical first volume in the Tales of the World series, spends long days at work in her village in Mali. As she pounds millet kernels with a stick, she daydreams about going to school, where she might "learn book secrets like my brother did," and about the day the village women save up enough money to buy a machine to grind the millet. National Book Award winner Whelan (Paradise of Shadows, p. 61) introduces some local vocabulary ("I cover myself with my hawli, my scarf, so the bird won't see me") and hews to a poetic tone ("A water jug has had its little journey on her head"). Although Yatandou seems more like a vehicle for presenting a remote culture than like a real girl, the narrative does give readers insight into her way of life. The text is set on a rich brick-colored background that evokes the ever-present red sand ("The desert lives with us," says Yatandou) and that successfully counterpoints the luminosity of Sylvada's (A Symphony of Whales) impressionistic paintings. Fields of yellows-for the morning sky, the stretches of desert, onion fields-suggest the inescapable heat, and the very air seems to undulate. Sylvada also shows Yatandou mastering the unyielding setting: in his first view of Yatandou, she appears engulfed by the landscape, but as the story progresses to a hopeful conclusion, the pictures grow more intimate, culminating in the touching close-up portrait that concludes the book. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Yatandouby Gloria Whelan, Peter Sylvada
Yatandou lives in a Mali village with her family and neighbors. And though she is only eight years old and would much rather play with her pet goat, she must sit with the women and pound millet kernels. To grind enough millet for one day's food, the women must pound the kernels with their pounding sticks for three hours. It is hard work, especially when one is eight… See more details below
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Yatandou lives in a Mali village with her family and neighbors. And though she is only eight years old and would much rather play with her pet goat, she must sit with the women and pound millet kernels. To grind enough millet for one day's food, the women must pound the kernels with their pounding sticks for three hours. It is hard work, especially when one is eight years old. But as they work, the women dream of a machine that can grind the millet and free them from their pounding sticks. But the machine will only come when the women have raised enough money to buy it. Yatandou must help raise the money, even if it means parting with something she holds dear. Through the eyes and voice of a young girl, award-winning author Gloria Whelan brings to life one village's dream of a better future. Atmospheric paintings from artist Peter Sylvada capture the landscape and spirit of this inspiring story of sacrifice and hope.To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com!
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