Continuing our Water in Multicultural Children’s Literature theme, we have two new features on the PaperTigers website.
A River of Stories: Water-Themed Stories for Multicultural Readers, a Personal View by Alice Curry, in which she discusses the superb anthology A River of Stories: Tales and Poems from Across the Commonwealth, she compiled recently, illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski and published by the Commonwealth Education Trust. Here’s the opening to whet your appetite:
On the southern-most tip of Africa, the lonely Zulu goddess of rain, Mbaba Mwana Waresa, searches for love amongst mortal men, rainbows glistening in her wake. On the northern-most tip of Canada, the solitary Ice King guards his wintry lair yet dreams, secretly, of warmer climes. On the tropical shores of Australia, old man Mookari, god of the storm, rattles into town before stealing, quietly, away. In Nigeria, the impetuous water god, Olokun, paces the shining floors of his underwater palace, whilst in Ghana, the goddess Mawu transforms herself into a waterfall to nourish the parched and thirsty earth.
Water gods and goddesses, spirits and deities have fuelled our imaginations and nourished our beliefs since the beginning of time. Not only is water a vital physical presence in our lives, but also a powerfully imaginative and symbolic source of inspiration for writers and storytellers everywhere. In our increasingly threatened world, in which climate-related natural disasters are a daily reality for much of the world’s population, water-themed stories are an important and relevant way of encouraging sustainable, respectful and empathic attitudes towards the environment. It is currently estimated that half of the world’s population will be living under severe water stress by 2030; for today’s children, the conservation of a healthy natural environment has become a development issue of the highest priority.
Now head on over and read the rest of the article…