A Gift from Childhood:Memories of an African Boyhood

Baba Wagué is only four years old when he is sent to the tiny Malian village of Kassaro to be raised by his paternal grandparents, according to the family tradition. He is most unhappy about this at first, but under his grandmother’s patient and wise tutelage he comes to love his close-knit village community. He learns how to catch a catfish with his bare hands, flees from an army of bees, and mistakes a hungry albino cobra snake for a pink inner tube. Finally, Grandma Sabou decides that Baba is educated enough to go to school, and he moves back to the city, where his family struggles to provide him with a formal education. But he brings his village stories with him, and in the process of sharing them with his neighborhood uncovers his immense artistic and storytelling talents.

My Abuelita

Abuelita’s hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha–her jalopy–with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever–with a very important job. With her booming voice and wonderful props, Abuelita is a storyteller. Next to being a grandmother, that may be the most important job of all. Sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love, My Abuelita is a glorious celebration of family, imagination, and the power of story.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 1