Ms Maya Angelou died this week. A very sad time for the literary world and the world at large. Before this week I did not know much about this lovely lady. Most of her writings, I believe, are a little heavy for the kids who read to me. But I am a bit familiar with her. I have heard her enchanting voice on the radio and seen her face in magazines. And we do have one of her books on my bookshelf. A picture book that we like to take to school to share with my reading buddies.
Themes – South African culture, traditions
Suitable for ages 3 and up
It begins ….
I am Thandi, an Ndebele girl in South Africa.
I am eight years old, and my best friend is a chicken.
This is a fascinatingly unique book. It is filled with beautiful photographs of Ndebele women, children, and painted houses. It is also filled with the rhythmic words of Ms Angelou painting a picture of life in a South African village. A life quite alien to what my reading buddies are used to. Many of the kids in Glen Rose have chickens. And some even talk to their chickens like Thandi does. Thandi has a mischievous younger brother that she would like to give away. Many of my readers can sympathize with those feelings! But Thandi’s village life is quite a bit different from our small town life. For one thing, Thandi and her friends don’t wear much clothing! Mostly LOTS of beads. And they are quite proud of their beadwork. The women do all the beading and Thandi looks forward to one day being able to make her own beaded apron. The women also paint their houses in fantastic geometric patterns – using chicken feathers as brushes! These are traditions that will be passed down to Thandi and her girl friends.
When we read this book, we have Good discussions about different cultures and traditions and how traditions get handed down from one generation to the next. We talk about family traditions that the kids might have.
It would be fun, if you have thumbs, to try painting some pictures using the Painted Houses as a model – and paint them with feathers!
To learn more about the art of the Ndebele visit HERE.
Here are some instructions for GOOD beaded snowflake or star ornaments.
Have some fun and laugh and play like Thandi and her friends!
And try this little game!
Now you might want to venture over to the GOOD Ms Susanna Hill’s blog where she keeps a list of Perfect Picture Books.