Roblay wants to win the big race to prove he is a man; will his grandfather’s advice lead him to success?
Mohammed and Williams (Four Feet, Two Sandals, illustrated by Doug Chayka, 2007) team up again to tell a tale of a boy in Somalia who draws on tradition to excel. After irritating many with his constant practice, running everywhere, Roblay does not win a top spot in the village race. Disappointed, he gets advice from his grandfather, Awoowo, who tells him he must capture the spirit of the mighty Shabelle River by leaving his thumbprint on the coat of a cheetah, for which the river is named. All year long, Roblay watches the cheetah from the opposite side of the river, studying her movements, running when she runs. On the morning of the next year’s race, Roblay has just one thing left to do to guarantee his success. Roblay’s personal goal, his supportive family, and his rich cultural tradition weave together in a lovely story of determination and perseverance. Cairns’ illustrations use delicate strokes to depict vast, green natural landscapes, simple homes, and dignified people who respect the local wildlife. Readers will delight in the suspense and satisfaction that build and bind this layered tale.
Another successful collaboration that will win minds and hearts.
(Picture book. 3-8)
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 40
Publisher: Wisdom Tales
Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021