Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
A River of Stories: Tales and Poems Across the Commonwealth
by Compiled by Alice Curry
Age Range: 9-11
This is an exquisitely produced anthology published to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Education Trust. A River of Stories brings together each of the 54 Member States of the Commonwealth of Nations in a vibrant mix of traditional storytelling and poetry that highlights both individual cultures and universal human concerns.
Taking water as its theme, anthologist Alice Curry has included stories, poems and myths about the seaside, riverside, wells, rain, dewfall and rainbows. There is a mixture of legend as well as contemporary observation. Whether it is a humorous story about cooking with salt water from the Fiji Islands, a poem about Hermit crabs marching in the Bahamas or how the inquisitive elephant got his long trunk from Swaziland there is certainly variety in this selection.
There are evocative pieces such as ‘The Sea is a Mystery’ poem from Dominica, the lovely tale of ‘The Messenger of the Moon’ from Malaysia or a poem about being free from St Lucia. The myths passed down in the tradition of oral storytelling are also here too. Poems and tales about the sun, moon, stars as well as ghosts, giants, mermaids, water gods and ice kings– A sea-devil from Grenada, ghosts from the Solomon Islands, Rain and Fire arguing in Namibia and the beautiful goddess Mawu of the Waters from Ghana.
The Foreword has been written by The Prince of Wales, who points out that these stories and poems from a vast array of cultures “encourage us to think about the kind of future we will pass on to our children and grandchildren, and the central importance of water to that future.”
Jan Pieńkowski’s gorgeous iconic black silhouette illustrations, with their rich splash of colour across every page and the lavish double-page spread for each section are truly stunning.
This is a diverse feast of stories and poems from the Commonwealth making it the perfect book for sharing and reading aloud as well as ideal for use in the classroom. This is definitely one to savour and destined to become a firm favourite with young readers and adults too.