Orani: My Father's Village

by Claire A. Nivola

Appealing details and a sense of delight distinguish author/illustrator Claire Nivola’s... read more

Appealing details and a sense of delight distinguish author/illustrator Claire Nivola’s childhood memories of visiting Orani—the Mediterranean village on the island of Sardinia where her father grew up. “We ran to see a baby newly born to a neighbor, to eat ice cream at a café owned by an uncle, to ask the miller to grind a bag of wheat into flour, to watch the tailor stitch jackets for the shepherds, out of thick velvet ...” A festival, a wedding, and the rituals of mourning are woven into an account that also includes the everyday adventure of roaming the village streets, or watching the women bake in the middle of the night to avoid the day’s heat. While Nivola’s memories seem gathered from a collection of years, her inviting illustrations set them over the course of a single trip. Her younger self is shown among the people and the places of Orani in images awash in deep blues, sun-drenched whites, and sun-baked reds. Nivola’s author’s note discusses her family connection to a place that has, she notes, undergone inevitable change since her childhood. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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