Handa's Surprise

Handa's Surprise

This book came to me as a Big Book so I'm seeing the wonder of it in super-sized illustrations which is a great way to share this fun adventure. Handa, a member of the Luo tribe in southwest Kenya, is heading away from the grass huts of her village. She is going to walk to the village of her friend, Akeyo, to give her a surprise: a basketful of seven fruits that she has balanced carefully on her head. As Handa walks, she wonders to herself which fruit will be her friend's favorite and as she imagines each fruit, mischievous animals make their own selection and one by one the fruit disappears. Lost in thought, Handa has no idea her gift is shrinking bite by bite. Wonderfully, warm, colorful and inviting images of the delighted animals keep us turning page after page. It's like watching a play unfold with the main character walking the path and the bit part characters appearing for their moment of stardom and then stepping away to allow the next animal to have a moment in the spotlight. But the real light here comes from the fun, the laughs, the great delight we experience as we watch the joke unfold and we know what's happening and can't wait to see what Handa will say when she finds her own surprise. What a fabulous read aloud. What a great way to celebrate diversity and the universal connections we share. Ages 4-9 25 pages for the Big Book

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