today’s storybook summary is
The Village of Round and Square Houses
by Ann Grifalconi
Storyline: This story comes from the village of Tos in Cameroon and it is narrated by a girl that left the place when she was almost a grown up. The village has, indeed, two kind of houses: square houses for men and round houses for women, and the girl tells us why. She starts her story by recalling the childhood dinners whit her grandpa and uncle and all the kids, and the way they pay respect to the elders. Then she remembers her grandma Tika smoking pipe and telling her the legend of Naka Volcano. It is said that one day the mountain erupted and everything was covered with lava. The villagers were spared but the village was buried in ashes. There were only two houses left. The leader then sent the men in the square one and the women in the round one. Years have passed and the volcano is quit now. The people have rebuilt the village but they have kept the way of living. Because, says Gran’ma “each one has a place to be apart, and a time to be together”.
Characters: Osa, Gran’pa Oma, Uncle Domo, Gran’ma Tika
Illustration: Ann Grifalconi is also the illustrator of this book. With a classic stroke, she brings to life a village in West Africa, its inhabitants and their way of life. The pictures are filling the pages, with the text of the story on the bottom. The colors are warm and earthy, recreating the hot weather conditions of the place.
Medal/Awards: Caldecott Honor Book
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