ChirChir is Singing

ChirChir is Singing
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Release Date
August 23, 2011
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Chirchir just wants to make herself useful like all her other family members. But she drops Mama's water bucket, spills Kogo's tea, and sends Baba's potatoes tumbling down the hill. Isn't there something that Chirchir does best? Set in the rolling hills of rural Kenya, this is a wise and lyrical story about belonging from Kelly Cunnane, the author of the Ezra Jack Keats Award winner For You Are a Kenyan Child, accompanied by Jude Daly's beautiful folk art-style illustrations

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A Glimpse into the Daily Life of a Kenyan Family
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This book has so many great attributes: song, poetry, a lyrical cadence, musical descriptions, and even words from the Swahili language. The youngest daughter of a Kenyan family, ChirChir, whose name means "born quickly," makes her way to each family member to try to help them with their daily work. She makes up songs to accompany her task and introduces the reader to different animals, foods, and chores in a typical rural Kenyan family's life. Each person she tries to help, however, eventually sends her along to find something else to do because her lack of skill ends up harming rather than helping. The descriptions of her emotions and surroundings are vibrant, causing the sounds and colors and scents of Africa to bubble up in the mind. Eventually ChirChir finds that her song, her voice, can help the entire family to have a smooth, sweet day.
My 3-year-old immediately loved this book, and it is a treat to read it to her. We have learned Swahili words and definitions and even some customs of the Kenyan culture. We especially enjoy it since we have close friends who are from Kenya. The pictures are a marvelous accompaniment, and I hope to keep and read this book for years to come.
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