The girl greets the sun, as the Himalayan mountains turn “pink and gold” with the dawn’s light. At night, tucked cozily into bed, she sees the moon making the “snowy mountains glow like pearls.” In between, her day is filled with family meals, morning chores, lessons at school where students from three villages gather, playing with friends, and helping her parents in the nearby fields.
While the details of the young Nepali girl’s life might be slightly different from the lives of American readers – for example, she eats a breakfast of tea and chiura (a traditional pounded rice dish), and her older sister milks a water buffalo – the overall message is similar all over the world. Family, friends, community – including, and especially, education – are the cornerstones of all our lives, no matter our diverse geographical locations.
The same author/illustrator duo who created I See the Sun in China, give Nepal a recognizable look-and-feel; Judith Inglese‘s collages that layer photos, cut-outs, and illustrations again provide the story with a depth beyond the flat page. The bilingual nature of the series is also certainly a major plus. All future titles – I See the Sun in Afghanistan is scheduled for an early 2011 debut – will follow a similar visual look, with the all-important bilingual text.
Which leads me to make a heartfelt suggestion: anyone or any companies out there thinking of book donations to organizations abroad should seriously consider a bulk order with Satya House. Move over Peter Rabbit and Hop on Pop! Providing a learning tool with recognizable characters and surroundings, in a language students aspire to speak with a native translation to guide them … now that’s a true (and useful) gift of education.