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The Village that Vanished by Ann Grifalconi
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The Village that Vanished

by Ann Grifalconi

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This picture book illustrates a folktale. It tells us a story of a young girl and her mother in the village of Yao, Africa. With faith and courage, they helped their fellow village escape and survive from the north slavers. It is a realistic tale of the Yao tribe that has been carried down to many generations so that now people can know how their ancestors survived and how brave they were. The characters of this folklore are symbolic of some human traits. The Yao villagers are good and kind people, while the slave traders are evil. The plot that is the process of escape is simple and direct. The pictures of this book are drew by pen and watercolors.
protect our village and keep us free. leave their homeland. the slavers. timid, no faith. The village of Yao. The Yao Tribe. ( )
  CarolLuo | Feb 7, 2016 |
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of the African village of Yao, but nearby villages have been destroyed, their people held captive, chained to be slaves. Njemile, mother of Abikanile, has an idea, to hide among the forest, and deconstruct their village as if they've never been. Njemile's own mother stays behind, considering her old age, but her priority is to ensure the safety of the tribe. When they find the river to be to deep and swift, it is Abikanile who finds the faith and strength to cross it. ( )
  candyceutter | Sep 25, 2015 |
This book tells a story about a village in Africa who's lives and home are being threatened by slavers. A member of the tribe suggests that the tribe leaves, and one of the elders stays behind, to throw off the slavers. This is a self-sacrifcing act, and it works. The village packs up their huts and belongings and leave to safety, and the slavers don't find them ( )
  NatalieCJones | Mar 3, 2015 |
Summary: "The Village that Vanished" is about a African village in the woods being threatened by slavers. Some members of the village were discussing ideas to determine how they would handle the slavers since all the men were gone. One woman proposed that they should disappear into the woods and trick the slavers into believing that there was no village there. The women, children, and elders began to remove all of their belongings, take down their huts and build one hut with farming in order to trick the slavers into believing that only person lived there, not a village. The villagers escaped in the woods while one ancestor stayed behind. When the slavers came, the ancestor explained to them that she was the only one who lived there. However, they did not believe her so they search the woods for hours until they gave up and left.

Review: The main idea of this story is a village pretended to vanish in order to avoid the slavers kidnapping them. I really enjoyed this story and the overall message. In addition, I really liked how the book included many different text features to help readers understand the story. For example, the book included bold faced words and italics in order for readers to understand what parts of the story was the narration and what was the prayers. I also appreciated how the book explained what certain African names and words meant. For example, the book says "Then her mother (who name, Njemile, means "upstanding") turned wearily home." I believe this shows readers the different names in the African culture, while allowing readers to connect to it by giving them the meaning of it. ( )
  rjones34 | Dec 13, 2014 |
I really liked this story. I meant to grab a different book by Grifalconi, but this one was amazing. A story of slavery, faith, and courage. The name of the tribe is also mentioned, and that is important. Not all cultures are the same in Africa, I think its important to make that clear in the stories we share.
The artwork is phenomenal. There is such warmth in the expression on the faces of the people. The picture with Abikanile and her mother with the fearsome warrior shapes in the clouds is beautiful. I want to hang it on my wall. The confidence in the lift of Njemile's chin and the strength in hands is so clear. Truly marvelous.
The story itself is very good. The ingenuity and courage of 3 generations of women to save their village from slavers. It would have been a good idea even if they would have had men to fight. Stick by stick they brought down their houses. And the slavers couldn't see the stones, for they did not understand the faith and courage of the Yao, so they could not see the stones to cross. Very good story. I'm glad I picked it up on accident. I hope this counts for one of my 4 folk tales. ( )
  Jill.Haner | Jan 20, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803726236, Hardcover)

Young Abekenile and all the villagers of Yao feel safe sheltered deep within the jungle. But word has now come that slavers are on their way! Abekenile looks to the women of her tribe: her mother, who comes up with a clever plan to fool the slavers, and a tribal elder, who stays behind to face the slavers, steadfast in her trust that the ancestor-spirits will watch over her. But as the villagers retreat within the forest, it is Abekenile who finds that she too has the bravery and daring to help her people stay safe and free.

Kadir Nelson's lush and striking artwork beautifully expresses this inspiring tale.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In southeastern Africa, a young Yao girl and her mother find a way for their fellow villagers to escape approaching slave traders.

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