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Chirchir Is Singing



written by
Kelly Cunnane
illustrated by
Jude Daly

Edition
-
Publisher
Random House
Imprint
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN
9780375961984

Awards and Honors
ALA Notable Children’s Book 2012, Younger; 2012 CCBC Choices
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$12.00   $5.00
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Every time Chirchir tries to help, she makes a mess of things. Then she discovers she has a talent that makes everyone’s work go faster. Author’s note. Glossary. Full-color acrylic illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

11" x 91/2"

Dewey

E

AR

3.9: points 0.5

Lexile

AD760L

Scholastic Reading Counts

1

JLG Release

Sep 2011

Topics

Family life. Kenya. Villages. Singing. Daily chores.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

Junior Library Guild

  • A sweet, simple day in the life story of Chirchir, a young Kenyan girl.
  • Chirchir sings as she tries to assist family members with their chores. Her short and lively songs, which describe each chore in rhyming verse, keep the mood upbeat even as Chirchir’s attempts fail. The songs also provide a deeper sense of Kalenjin work and culture.
  • Open fields in pale green hues welcome readers into Chirchir’s world. Jude Daly’s folk-art-style illustrations bring a calm, easygoing energy to Kelly Cunnane’s story.
  • Chirchir’s family speaks Swahili and Kalenjin, their tribe’s mother tongue. Words from both languages, such as Jambo for “hello” and Kogo for “grandmother,” add sibilant music to the dialogue.
  • A happy ending shows that help can come in many forms.

School Library Journal

Set in a rural Kenyan village joyfully portrayed by Daly’s charming folk-style artwork, this is a story to which children everywhere will relate. Chirchir’s name means “Born Quickly” in her native Kalenjin, but to American ears it sounds like the perfect word for her sunny disposition as she makes her way through the day. She wakes up and tells the rooster that she’s going to help Mama today. Sweetly she sings as she helps her draw water from the well, “Drop,/plop/the bucket in./Wiggle it…jiggle it…Let it fill…./Then hand over hand,/up comes/maji, maji—water!…But—Oh-ohh!/The rope slips,/water splashes,/Chirchir sprawls.” Mama sends her to help someone else, but all of Chirchir’s attempts end in disaster. As she becomes more discouraged, she becomes visibly grounded to the earth and no longer dances across the pages, and her songs grow quieter until finally her joy returns when she finds a job that is just right. Full of small details that capture the family’s connection to nature and daily life in the beautiful highlands of the Great Rift Valley, the story takes precedence while celebrating another culture. The endpapers include a helpful author’s note about Kenya’s Kalenjin tribe and a glossary of Swahili/Kalenjin words. The winning combination of a delightful main character and gorgeous execution should earn Chirchir a place in most libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI

Praise & Reviews

Junior Library Guild

  • A sweet, simple day in the life story of Chirchir, a young Kenyan girl.
  • Chirchir sings as she tries to assist family members with their chores. Her short and lively songs, which describe each chore in rhyming verse, keep the mood upbeat even as Chirchir’s attempts fail. The songs also provide a deeper sense of Kalenjin work and culture.
  • Open fields in pale green hues welcome readers into Chirchir’s world. Jude Daly’s folk-art-style illustrations bring a calm, easygoing energy to Kelly Cunnane’s story.
  • Chirchir’s family speaks Swahili and Kalenjin, their tribe’s mother tongue. Words from both languages, such as Jambo for “hello” and Kogo for “grandmother,” add sibilant music to the dialogue.
  • A happy ending shows that help can come in many forms.

School Library Journal

Set in a rural Kenyan village joyfully portrayed by Daly’s charming folk-style artwork, this is a story to which children everywhere will relate. Chirchir’s name means “Born Quickly” in her native Kalenjin, but to American ears it sounds like the perfect word for her sunny disposition as she makes her way through the day. She wakes up and tells the rooster that she’s going to help Mama today. Sweetly she sings as she helps her draw water from the well, “Drop,/plop/the bucket in./Wiggle it…jiggle it…Let it fill…./Then hand over hand,/up comes/maji, maji—water!…But—Oh-ohh!/The rope slips,/water splashes,/Chirchir sprawls.” Mama sends her to help someone else, but all of Chirchir’s attempts end in disaster. As she becomes more discouraged, she becomes visibly grounded to the earth and no longer dances across the pages, and her songs grow quieter until finally her joy returns when she finds a job that is just right. Full of small details that capture the family’s connection to nature and daily life in the beautiful highlands of the Great Rift Valley, the story takes precedence while celebrating another culture. The endpapers include a helpful author’s note about Kenya’s Kalenjin tribe and a glossary of Swahili/Kalenjin words. The winning combination of a delightful main character and gorgeous execution should earn Chirchir a place in most libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI

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