Oh, the excitement of the first day of school, trading in bare feet for shoes and the chance to twirl in a brand new school uniform. Elizabeti waves goodbye to her cat and shares hugs and sloppy kisses with her mother and her brothers and sisters. Then, she and her big sister, Pendo, set off. Set in Tanzania but could be just about anywhere, Elizabeti's excitement is quickly replaced with shyness and a touch of homesickness. In class she thinks about what is happening at home. She misses everyone. Then, the magic of music and dancing in the school yard captures her and she finds out how to count to five all by herself. It's a good day at school. Happy, she walks back home and re-discovers her bare feet and the fun of her home and family. But she has brought a whole new self back with her...the new self who knows how to count and dance and write letters in the sand and even can teach everyone a new game to play. "Elizabeti decided she would give school another try, but home was surely the best place to be." A warm, sincere, touching story of familiar feelings in a unique part of the globe. (If you haven't read Elizabeti's Doll, you'll really enjoy watching Elizabeti cope with a new baby in the family.) 32 pages Ages 5-8
Lee & Low Books, Inc., 2002
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