When the Song Bird sings her magical song, amazing things happen. A cleared field is once again overgrown with weeds. Empty gourds fill up with milk. And a determined little girl named Mariamu is whisked away to the nighttime realm of Makucha, a gruesome, greedy monster, then brought home again in triumph with all the cattle Makucha had stolen. The power of a promise, and of a song, infuses this marvelous adventure, adapted from a traditional story and accompanied with bright, whimsical illustrations. The tune is included so that readers can sing along. Author's note.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Tololwa M. Mollel, an Arusha Maasai from Tanzania, grew up on his grandfather's coffee farm, an hour's drive from Mount Kilimanjaro. After receiving his B.A. in Literature and Theatre at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Mr. Mollel went to Canada in 1966 to complete his master's degree at the University of Alberta. In the late 1970s he returned to Tanzania where he was Senior Lecturer and Head of the Theatre Department at the University of Dar es Salaam. At that time he was also co-director of a children's theatre and arts group. Mr. Mollel has written many books for Clarion. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota..
Rosanne Litzinger's charming illustrations have appeared in numerous picture books, including, for Clarion, The Little Golden Lamb by Ellin Greene and Song Bird by Tololwa M. Mollel. She lives in Southern California.
Grade 3-6-This complicated tale is adapted from a traditional story from southern Africa. When their cattle are stolen, Mariamu and her parents try to cultivate the land to grow food. They are thwarted by a magic bird that returns the cleared field back to its original state in order to protect her eggs. After many turns and twists in the plot, the girl saves her family by gaining the bird's trust. Together, they outwit the monster that had stolen the cattle and free the animals. The story is set in southern Tanzania, and Swahili is used throughout in songs and phrases. Although none of the words are translated in the text, the author provides a page of explanation about his use of the language, a pronunciation guide, and music, as well as brief notes about the origin of the story. "The Fairy Bird," a Swazi tale told in Terry Berger's Black Fairy Tales (Atheneum, 1970; o.p.), contains many of the same elements. Litzinger's watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations show the colorful dress of the people of the area, and the landscapes and surroundings suggest the setting. The monster is similar to the monsters pictured in Berger's story. The complexity of the plot and extensive use of the Swahili language make this tale more suitable for telling by a skilled storyteller than as a picture book.
Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Clarion Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0395829089
Book Description Clarion Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395829089
Book Description Clarion Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0395829089 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1933754