Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kidogo by Anik McGrory

by Anik McGrory
Ages: 3-6
Topics: being small, elephants, independence

"Kidogo lived in a world that was vast", a beautiful land of huge moutains, endless savannah, tall trees, and flooding rivers. Kidogo, a tiny elephant, needs help from his larger family members to reach the leaves on the acacia trees and get across the river. But Kidogo doesn't want help, not does he want to be "the smallest". So he sets off alone to find "someone in the world who was just as small as he."

Kidogo keeps thinking he's found a fellow-sized friend, seeing the giraffe's head behind a bush, a hippo's eyes and ears on the river, a lion's tail peaking out from grass, but eventually gives up. But then, while determindly giving himself a dust bath all by himself, he notices he's surrounded by tiny animals that he can help.

A very sweet story, children will love Kidogo's pluckiness and the warm humor that washes through the brilliant watercolor and pencil illustrations. The story is told in gentle poetry and the African land is beautiful and mesmorizing.

Kidogo means "something small" is Swahili.

Anik McGrory spent time living in East Africa while working with environmental groups and drew on that experience for this story. She is also the author of Mouton's Impossible Dream and has illustrated several other children's books.