Thirteen masterly poems by Nikki Grimes are illustrated with piquant watercolors by Betsy Lewin. From mist-and mystery-shrouded Mount Meru, to a young girl coming home to her family's relentless hospitality, to a hungry lion prowling the Serengeti Plain, to a bus crowded witth squawking chickens and curious billy goats - not to mention people - Is It Far to Zanzibar? captures the sights, sounds and scenery of Tanzania.
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In 1974, a research grant from the Ford Foundation enabled Nikki Grimes to spend a year doing linguistic and cultural research in Tanzania, East Africa. She toured the country from Mt. Kilimanjaro to the spice island of Zanzibar and brought away scores of stories about the unforgettable people and places she had visited, which later found their way into her poems. She is the author of many books for adults and children, including the Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Meet Danitra Brown, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Aneesa Lee and the Weaver's Gift, illustrated by Ashley Bryan, and is it far to Zanzibar?, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. She lives in Corona, California.
In Her Own Words...
"The written word has always held a special fascination for me. it seemed uncanny that words, spread across a page just so, had the power to transport me to another time or place. But they could. I spent many hours ensconced in the local library reading-no, devouring-book after book after book. Books were my soul's delight. Even so, in one sense, the stories I read betrayed me. Too few featured African Americans. Fewer still spoke to, or acknowledged the existence of, the particular problems I faced as a black foster child from a dysfunctional and badly broken home. I couldn't articulate it then, but I sensed a need for validation which the books I read did not supply. When I grow up, I thought, I'll write books about children who look and feel like me.
"I was moved around a lot as a child, always having to adjust to new neighborhoods, new schools, new faces. The most difficult aspect of my constant uprooting was struggling to make new friends, leaving them behind, moving to a new neighborhood, and starting the whole process over again.
"Yet I had no choice, for I both needed and wanted friends. The fact that friendships were bound to be short-lived only made them more precious to me. Little wonder that friendship is a theme I return to again and again. Growin', my first book for children, had friendship as its primary focus. The subject recurs in the poems of Something on My Mind and From a Child's Heart. But the subject is most squarely dealt with in Meet Danitra Brown--an ode to friendship if ever there was one!
"Born in Harlem, I have since lived in every borough of New York City except Staten Island. Consequently, cityscapes form the backdrop of most of my writing.
"In addition to children's fiction, I write books and magazine articles for adults. I inherited my father's passion for travel and have been to such places as China, Russia, Austria, Trinidad, and Tanzania, where I spent one year. My longest sojourn was in Sweden, where I lived for six years. In fact, I have Sweden to thank for my favorite hobby: knitting. I like to read, of course, go on long walks, talk with friends, cook, and play word games. But most of all, I love to write!"Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Bus RidePeople jam the open door,
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Book Description Harpercollins. LIBRARY BINDING. Book Condition: New. 0688131581 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1236421
Book Description Harpercollins, 2000. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0688131581