Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Yatandou

Whelan, Gloria (Author)
Sylvada, Peter (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press 2008. 32 pages
First published: 2007
Series: Tales of the World
ISBN: 9781585362110 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, evocative language, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

While eight-year-old Yatandou would much rather play with her cherished pet goat Sunjata, she must spend many a long day with the women of her village, pounding millet kernels for their food and traveling long distances for firewood and water. But they dream of an easier life. Told through Yatandou’s eyes, this powerful story of a Mali village in a period of transition recounts their uncompromising efforts, including hers, to earn enough money to buy a machine that will grind their grain in less than the three hours it takes them to do so manually, using nothing but pounding sticks. The “contraption” does indeed make life easier, and there is even hope that it will one day “bring water out of the ground and light to (the) village.”

Evocative language, such as “The sky is my ceiling and the moon is my lantern,” and large, impressionistic paintings in warm earth tones that capture the landscape and spirit of the villagers come together for an inspiring story about the sacrifices one must sometimes make for a brighter future.

  •  

    Talk about Yatandou’s life. Using a graphic organizer, compare a typical day in your life with a day in hers.

  •  

    Describe the machine that is bought for the village. How will this help the villagers? Explain how it is important to them.

  •  

    Hypothesize about why the women are in charge. Is that the same in our society?

  •  

    Discuss the significance of the villagers learning to read.

  •  

    Talk about the life of the girl in the story. Compare your day with hers, using a graphic organizer.

  •  

    Discuss the importance of the villagers learning to read.

  •  

    Describe the machine that is bought for the village. How will this help the villagers? Explain how it is important to them.

  •  

    Hypothesize about why the women are in charge. Is that the same in our society?

  •  What is a global issue? A global citizen? Discuss how one person can make a difference in the world. Create a bulletin board that illustrates your ideas.
  •  Select your favourite passage and write a personal reflection about what it means to you.
  •  Research an artist or musician who is known for supporting global causes. Create a digital poster to share your findings. Highlight the global issue.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences