|birds flock to Nyasha's garden
Notes: This Caldecott Honor Book by John Steptoe is a scholarly recreation taken in part from the 1895 book, Kaffir Folktales. It is dedicated to the children of South Africa. The illustrations show historically accurate clothing; the landscapes and wildlife are accurate representations of life in Zimbabwe.
6-9: Research birds and snakes of Zimbabwe. 1. Get the book, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters,and read it. 2. Go back and really look at the pictures carefully. 3. Choose birds or snakes to research. 4. Find a picture of your animal in the book, and either draw a careful line drawing of it with watercolor pencils, or write a paragraph describing it. Put in as many details as you can see. 5. Look in an Animal Encyclopedia, table of contents for either Snakes or Birds. Try to identify the bird or snake you drew. Label your drawing.
9-12. Zimbabwe, past and future. Compare two books, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters and the 1995 Newbery Honor Medal book, The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, by Nancy Farmer. Both are set in Zimbabwe, one in the 18th century or before, the other in the future year 2194, which makes it Science Fiction. It is an adventure about three children, whose father is the general and president of Zimbabwe, who sneak out of their carefully guarded home in Great Zimbabwe. This real city was founded sometime between the 11th and 14th century. The kids are kidnapped by criminals and taken to work in the plastic mines by the Vlei People, chased by the genetically atered Blue Monkey and held hostage by their family Praise Singer's mother before getting back home. Details of historic life in Zimbabwe, its culture, its spiriuality and religion are explored and explained.
1. Read both books. 2. Look for the ways that Manyara and Nyasha are similar to Tendai, the big brother, age 13, Rita, the sister, age 11, and Kuda, their baby brother, aged 4. Write a few paragraphs comparing and contrasting one character from each book.