The first man and woman are lonely. What to do? They decide to fashion children out of clay. As they are baking the little figures in their fire, they're constantly interrupted by visits from the sky-god, Nyame. As a result, some of the children are pale and underdone, some are left in so long that they come out very dark, and the rest are every shade between. Fran
From Publishers Weekly
Elegantly told, gorgeously illustrated and conveying a timely but
unforced message, this rendering of a West African folktale is one of
the more satisfying creation stories to come down the pike. The great
sky-god Nyame fills a basket with soil, trees, flowers, insects and
birds, then hangs it in the sky--thus forming the earth. Nyame cuts a
trapdoor in the sky (the moon) so he can visit earth, and he punches
holes (stars) so light can shine through. Then two "spirit people"
dwelling inside Nyame climb up to his mouth to look outside; a sudden
sneeze carries them to the earth. Once there, the spirit people, eager
for children, fashion clay figures: "We could bake the shapes in the
fire and then breathe life into them." They bake some much longer than
others, so that their children--all cherished equally--range in hue from
"cinnamon red" to "honey yellow" and "shell pink" to plain white.
Maddern's direct, evocative text and Lessac's vibrant, primitive
paintings conjure forth a world of wonder, whimsy and genuine sweetness.
Antelopes gambol while leopards sleep peacefully nearby; the spirit
people radiate sheer delight in their unspoiled paradise. The brilliant
green foliage, purple distant mountains and pure blue sky testify to the
infant world's freshness, while the terra-cotta of the earth and hills
generates an enveloping warmth. Ages 4-8. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.