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Elsina's Clouds by Jeanette Winter
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Elsina's Clouds

by Jeanette Winter

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It was a dry season for the people of Bosotho. They painted their houses in vibrant colors and beautiful patterns as their cry for help to the ancestors, hoping they could bring some rain to their crops. A little Bosotho girl wanted to help her family, so she asked for permission to paint the house instead. I love how Jeanette Winter incorporated art and culture together in this book. Her amazing illustrations bring the story even more to life. ( )
  tramtran | May 1, 2015 |
This book is about how a family is struggling because no rain has fallen and the have fields that need watering for them to survive. But Elsina is the little girl who dreams of those big dark clouds filled with rain inside. Her family is adding a new room so she begins to paint it so mane the ancestors will hear her and bring rain. She waited and waited and finally the rain came. So she began to always paint the house because the ancestors listened to her and brought them rain. This is a interesting story on how one family can struggle because of a drought but there traditions help them over come that drought. ( )
  lruano | Oct 2, 2014 |
Elsina is a girl who wants to take some responsibility. So while her mother is pregnant, her father extends the house by building a room for him. Elsina is excited like everybody else, and asks permission to paint this part of the house. Elsina always dreams of the rain coming by her home so that she will be able to paint the whole house too. It takes weeks to rain and when it does, Elsina becomes excited and she starts to paint the whole house again. She then starts to dream of the black clouds and it rains then she paints the whole family house. ( )
  sabdelaz | Feb 17, 2014 |
In South Africa, a Basotho girl paints designs on her house as a prayer to the ancestors for rain. ( )
  kidlit9 | Feb 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374321183, Hardcover)

It's been so long since it's rained, young Elsina can't even remember what rain is like: "BLUE. Only blue and the sun. Another day without clouds. I can't remember clouds." Her family needs the rain desperately, as her mother's crop has died and her father's goats are starving. As we learn in a two-line introduction to this small, square book, the Basotho women of southern Africa decorate the outside walls of their houses in hopes that their ancestors will send rain. Elsina dreams of the pictures she will paint on the house someday, and when Papa adds a room to the house to make room for a new baby, she finally gets to paint her first wall. She paints all day, and even dreams about painting at night: "I see the far-off mountain./ I see the sweet sorghum./ I see the spiny spiderweb." Weeks pass without rain, until, finally, "Plop!" and then "SPLAAASH!" Mama tells Elsina that the ancestors heard her prayers. The cycle continues every season... and the ancestors listen. Children will appreciate the fact that Elsina is not only allowed to express herself creatively through her paintings, but also to make a contribution to the family. Jeanette Winter's clean, colorful illustrations are framed by geometric borders, echoing traditional African designs. (Ages 5 to 8) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:17 -0400)

In South Africa, a Basotho girl paints designs on her house as a prayer to the ancestors for rain.

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