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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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