Chirchir is Singing

by Kelly Cunnane and Jude Daly

Chirchir starts the day eager to help Mama at the well. “But—oh-ohh!... read more

Chirchir starts the day eager to help Mama at the well. “But—oh-ohh! The rope slips, water splashes, Chirchir sprawls. 'Little one, this work is not for you,’ says Mama.” Chirchir helps Kogo make a fire. “But—oh-ohh! The fire leaps too high ... 'Littlest granddaughter, this work is not for you.’” Chirchir approaches each new task with a ready song and willing heart, but each time she is sent away after a mishap. Dejected, she returns home to discover baby brother Kip-rop crying. This time, “Chirchir’s soft sweet sound soothes Little Brother.” Kelly Cunnae’s musical narrative is full of pleasing elements, from lyrical language to judicious use of repetition to a consistently childlike perspective. Judy Daly’s folk art illustrations match the grace and flow of the story with their gently curving lines and soft, soothing palette. In an author’s note, Cunnae specifies that Chirchir and her family are members of the Kalenjin tribe and their daily routines are typical of a contemporary Kelanjin family living in the western highlands of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. (Ages 3–7)

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

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