The Most Important Gift of All

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The Most Important Gift of All

Author:  David Conway

Overview

Ama wants to honor her newborn baby brother with a special gift, as is the custom of the people in her village. When Grandma Sisi suggests “the gift of love,” Ama sets off in search of this important present, but how will she know when she has found it? This richly illustrated story, told in the folktale tradition, celebrates a young girl’s simple, earnest discovery of the most important gift of all.

David Conway is an established poet and a fresh, new voice in children’s picture books whose keen interest in world travel and culture has influenced his writing. He drew inspiration for The Most Important Gift of All from his love of reading folktales from around the world.

Karin Littlewood’s travels to Kenya are reflected in the warm, vibrant colors and lush, richly detailed landscapes of her illustrations. She is frequently invited to speak at elementary schools, where she enjoys sharing her passion for picture book illustration with young children.

Editorial Review

Ama is searching for the perfect gift to welcome her young brother into the world. When Grandma Sisi advises her to give him love-the most important gift of all-the child goes on a quest, asking the animals she meets if they know where to find it. Ama becomes lost and is later found by her father who has searched all night for her. Their reunion is joyous and the village celebrates both Ama's return and her brother's arrival. The little girl finally understands the meaning of love. Littlewood's exquisite illustrations evoke the vast beauty and simmering daytime heat of Kenya, full of energy and movement, while the cooler nights are purple and peaceful in striking contrast. The layout is outstanding, with single pages and full spreads that have varying perspectives. One stunning spread has three horizontal panels extending over two pages, creating a sense of overlapping activities. This lovely book would be an excellent introduction to a discussion of other cultures or the birth of a sibling.

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