The Bear Who Shared

Norris the bear has been waiting patiently for the last ripe fruit to fall from the tree. But Tulip the raccoon and Violet the mouse have too, although maybe not so patiently. In fact, Tulip and Violet sniff, listen to, and even hug the fruit. Norris catches the fruit when it finally falls, and because he is a wise bear, he shares it and makes two new friends. A lovely simplicity of language and gorgeous artwork make this story of one of life’s first lessons perfect for the youngest listeners.

Birdsong

A lone bird sits in a big tree, merrily singing its tune to the world. But soon it will be joined by a friend, and then another, and another. . . . As each colorful bird lands on the branch of the tree it joins the last in a cheerful song. But one flashy bird wants to rule the roost – until something small changes his tune.

A Season for Mangoes

Sareen is attending her first sit-up, a Jamaican tradition that celebrates the life of a loved one who has died. The whole village has come to share memories of Sareen’s Nana. Sareen wants to tell her stories of Nana’s last mango season and their search for the perfect mango, but she’s afraid the words won’t come or that she’ll begin to cry. It’s only when Sareen faces her fear that she realizes it’s not the sadness of Nana’s death that she’ll remember best but the joy of Nana’s life.Set amid the rich culture and lush scenery of Jamaica, this moving book offers the hope of rediscovering joy after a loss and pays tribute to the remarkable power of story: to touch, to connect, and to heal.

Child of Dandelions

The river of jubilant people alarmed Sabine as they bobbed along Allidina Visram Street in Kampala….The dark faces drew closer. Women in bright gomesi and headscarves danced, and bare-chested men punched their fists into the air, chanting, “Muhindi, nenda nyumbani! Indian go home.”Sabine felt she was drowning in their cries.In August 1972, President Idi Amin declares that a message from God has come to him in a dream: all foreign Indians must be “weeded out” of Uganda in the next ninety days. Fifteen-year-old Sabine and her father, a successful businessman, are confident that their family will not be affected, since they are Ugandan citizens, but Sabine’s fearful mother is certain that they will have to leave.As the ninety days tick by, the President’s message – the “countdown monster,” as Sabine calls it – is broadcast every day on the radio, and life becomes more difficult for her family and other Indians in Uganda. Sabine tries to hold on to her optimism, counting on her best friend, Zena, and her grandfather, Bapa, to keep her spirits up, but after her beloved uncle Zulfiqar disappears and Zena turns against her, Sabine begins to share her mother’s fears. When a new law is declared on the radio – all Indians must leave – Sabine and her family have a hard decision to make. Should they stay and defend their rights, or should they go? And how will they begin a new life in a different land?

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2

Four Hens and a Rooster

Four hens live on a chicken farm. A little rooster lives there, too. “What a nice little rooster you have here,” everyone says when they come to visit. Indeed, it seems so for a while. But then the rooster begins to take more food for himself, and the hens get less. When the hens try talking to him about fairness, they’re not prepared for his reaction. The rooster turns into an egotistical barnyard bully, and the hens are worse off than before. Finally, the oldest hen puts her foot down: “We can’t go on like this. We must do something.”