Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yatandou - Gloria Whelan

Tales of the World: Mali, Africa
Illustrated by Peter Sylvada
Sleeping Bear Press, 2007
Rating: 4
Endpapers: White

Rusts and golds dominate this story, told in the first person by a young girl from Mali. The women in the village spend many hours each day pounding....pounding....pounding....the millet to make grain - at least three hours of pounding for one day's worth. Water is carried on the women's heads from a well. Many onions are grown to eat and sell at market. Andy they raise goats. It's work from dawn 'til dark - until the women earn enough to obtain a contraption that will immediately turn the millet to grain.

In an author's note we discover that thees grinding machines are "multifunctional platforms" that come from the U. N. Development Program and have been placed in over 350 African villages. Fascinating! I should read this to my student government in preparation for our upcoming P2P. I went to the website provided,, but it looks as if this program is no longer functioning? I will have to do some further research.

Gloria Whelan also divulges in her author's note that part of the proceeds from this book will go to BwB (Building with Books) which helps kids in the U. S. and in Mali.

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