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Subira Subira by Tololwa M. Mollel

Subira Subira

by Tololwa M. Mollel

Other authors: Linda Saport (Illustrator)

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I enjoyed this book. This book was simple and contained a very straightforward message about patience and working hard for a goal. I like how the story is structured: with a misbehaving little brother and a frustrated older sister who goes to a magical old women for advice. The girl learns that all she needs to do to help change her brother’s behavior is through her own hard work and patience. I like how she learns this lesson the hard way in this story. She is able to accomplish this almost seemingly impossible task of taming a lion. After doing so, she realizes that taming her brother should be a much easier feat than taming a lion could ever be: “’I’ll be patient,’ Tatu told herself. ‘Patient, just like taming the lion.’” The book also incorporates the idea of loss. This misbehavior from Tatu’s brother is all stemming from the fact that their mother has died, and their father does not have time for them because he works all day. Another great aspect of this book is that it incorporates several Swahili words such as: MaMzuka (spirit woman) and nduli (lion). I also really liked that the change in her brother was really gradual. It wasn’t as if Tatu was able to just magically change how her brother had been acting overnight. She had to work hard to see the results of her labor. And even at the end of the book, Tatu was still not able to completely change her brother. However, she was still persevering to change the way he was acting and to be patient with him with love and friendship. Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was that there was a song that was sung throughout the entire book. It introduced us, as a reader, to another culture through their music which I thought was very creative. Although the illustrations in the book are pretty and colored brightly, the hazy style of the pictures did not really seem to reflect the story as I would have liked. I tend to enjoy picture books that have detailed drawings and are captivating/breathtaking to the reader. For me, the illustrations in the book were too simple and didn't capture the beauty of the story as much as I would have enjoyed. ( )
  EmilyXia | Sep 16, 2015 |
This book showed me a little of a culture, as well as how patience really is a virtue. I love the cultural part of this book because it teaches me that no matter what culture someone is from, things are still similar to other cultures. The illustrations are so light and warm, which adds to the great story. ( )
  TeresaCruz | Oct 16, 2014 |
I liked this story though I wonder why so much weight was put on the girl's shoulders. I understand tough times for families, but it seemed like this was a bit much for this girl. I wish the father in the story had taken better control of the young boy. The young boy was being obnoxious and intolerable and yet it seemed that the sister had to solve problem rather than the adult using wisdom and patience to solve everything. It turned out that it was quite a learning experience for the girl, but it seemed that the wrong person came up with the solution in this case. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Adapted African folktale about a motherless daughter trying to help her misbehaving brother. She seeks the help of a wise-woman who sets her on a task to get 3 whiskers from a lion. She learns that the ability to help her brother is found within herself. Things progress as she approaches her brother as she did the lion. ( )
  Scottid | May 15, 2013 |
I love both the message and the illustrations in this book. I love that even though there is a magical element to the story, the ultimate solution to the problem lies within Tatu and her natural abilities. I also like how the book provides definitions and a song at the end. I thought it was really interesting and what I assume to be cultural realistic that snuff was included in the story.
  BKPietz | Nov 25, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tololwa M. Mollelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saport, LindaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039591809X, Hardcover)

When Tatu finds she can do nothing to improve her little brother's hateful behavior and make him happy again, she goes to an old spirit woman for help. The spirit woman tells Tatu that to cure Maulidi, she must pluck three whiskers from a lion! Armed only with a song, Tatu steals out into the moonlit night to undertake her impossible task. Acclaimed storyteller Tololwa M. Mollel sets his satisfying retelling of a traditional folktale in contemporary Tanzania, beautifully depicted in Linda Saport's lush illustrations. An author's note and the music for Tatu's song follow the story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

Set in contemporary Tanzania, this variation on a traditional tale describes how a young girl learns a lesson in patience when a spirit woman sends her to get three whiskers from a lion.

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