The stonemason Sivu can create extraordinary things out of rock. But he is poor, and as time goes by he becomes bitter and envious. If only he could be rich and powerful — surely then he would be happy? When Sivu’s wish is mysteriously granted six times, however, transforming him by turn into a rich businessman, the mayor, the sun, a rain cloud, and a great rock, he learns that sometimes people have the most power just by being themselves. Using clear, elegant storytelling and exquisite illustrations, Jude Daly translates the timeless Taoist story of The Stonecutter to a modern-day African setting, conveying a timeless message for our own age.
About the Author
Jude Daly lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with herhusband, writer and illustrator Niki Daly, and their sonsJoe and Leo. Her previous titles include The Tale ofParadise Lost: Based on the Poem by John Milton byNancy Willard (Atheneum), The Elephant's Pillow byDiana Reynolds Roome (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which wasawarded a Parents' Choice Silver Honor, and The Stone: APersian Legend of the Magi by Dianne Hofmeyr (Farrar,Straus & Giroux).
Read an Excerpt
Sivu's Six Wishes
By Frances Lincoln
Eerdmans Books for Young ReadersCopyright © 2010 Frances Lincoln
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSivu was a stonemason who created extraordinary things from stone. Before he began carving, he would stare into the rock until he saw a shape in it. Then slowly, slowly, he would chip away with his hammer and chisel.
People would watch in awe as he coaxed an animal or person out of the lifeless rock. He sold whatever he created, but he never made much money, and he grew bitter and disappointed.
One day, Sivu was carving a statue for a rich businessman's wife. It was hard work, and while he rested, he looked at the businessman's grand house and thought, "How powerful that man must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the businessman.
Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the businessman. What a life! With the snap of his fingers, he would demand a meal in the middle of the night. With the next snap, he would declare that a shipment of wool was too woolly.
On and on he would argue, until the defeated wool trader settled for a lower price. Sivu had more power and possessions than he could ever want, but now his life was miserable because everyone disliked him.
One day, coming home after arguing about some oranges that he said were too orange, Sivu was held up by a procession. It was the mayor and his officials, and everyone had to stop while the procession went by. As Sivu waited and watched, he thought, "How powerful that mayor must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the mayor.
Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the mayor. What a life! Wherever he went, people stepped aside for him.
He was promised this and promised that if only he would approve this and approve that. He had the power to ruin people, and they all hated him.
One day, Sivu was opening the new botanical gardens. It was so hot that the people and the flowers were wilting under the sun, but Sivu went on with his speech. When he finished, everyone clapped and cheered, while he gazed up at the sun shining proudly in the sky. As Sivu gazed, he thought, "How powerful that sun must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the sun!
Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the sun. What a life! He shone down fiercely on the new botanical gardens and the farmlands.
He scorched the fields and dried up the rivers. Soon the country was gripped by drought, and everybody cursed him.
One day, a huge rain cloud moved between Sivu and the Earth. He tried to burn it away, but the cloud blocked out his rays, and the Earth started to cool. Sivu thought, "How powerful that rain cloud must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE a rain cloud.
Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS a rain cloud. What a life! He flooded the fields and turned roads into rivers.
The waters rose, forcing everyone to leave their homes. And as they waded through the rising water, people shouted and swore at Sivu.
One day, Sivu felt himself being swept along by the wind. He went on raining, but the rain fell further and further out to sea. As Sivu's torrent turned to a trickle and then dried up, he thought, "How powerful that wind must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE the wind.
Suddenly, mysteriously, and to his great surprise, Sivu WAS the wind. What a life! He blew hats and kites away and ripped up trees by their roots.
He even blew a great ship off course. Nothing escaped his force, and everyone hurled insults at him.
One day, Sivu blew against something that would not move. No matter how hard he blew, he couldn't move it. It was an enormous rock. As Sivu blew around it, he thought, "How powerful that rock must be!"
And the more he thought about it, the more envious he became — until he wished he could BE a rock.
Excerpted from Sivu's Six Wishes by Frances Lincoln Copyright © 2010 by Frances Lincoln . Excerpted by permission of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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