Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chirchir Is Singing” as Want to Read:
Chirchir Is Singing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chirchir Is Singing

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Chirchir just wants to make herself useful like all her other family members. But she drops Mama's water bucket, spills Kogo's tea, and sends Baba's potatoes tumbling down the hill. Isn't there something that Chirchir does best? Set in the rolling hills of rural Kenya, this is a wise and lyrical story about belonging from Kelly Cunnane, the author of the Ezra Jack Keats Aw ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chirchir Is Singing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chirchir Is Singing

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 176)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Set in rural Kenya, this story is about Chirchir who sings throughout the day but who can't quite find her place in the family's activities--it seems she makes a mistake whether she is helping father harvest potatoes or her mother in the kitchen and bit by bit, Chirchir's song gets softer and less joyous. Until she finds one other family member who needs her help...

While the story didn't really involve me emotionally, it's told well and the message is a good one especially for children who need
Chirchir is a young Kenyan girl, trying to assist her family members with various daily chores while singing all the day long. Hauling water from the well, tending the fire, mudding the kitchen floor, and hoeing potatoes all prove too much for the little child. Her song grows quiet and sad. But Chirchir finds her little baby brother untended and crying and discovers she has an important role to play after all. Muted acrylic illustrations lend to the tone of quiet and contentment pervasive throug ...more
Many books about Africa focus on the many existing conflicts, either between people or between people and the environment. This book provides a refreshingly simple story about a girl and her family. While the book provides a look at a Kenyan farm and what for many Americans would be considered a hard life, to Chirchir, it's home and what she knows.

Unfortunately, Chirchir like many children, finds herself causing problems rather than helping the way she intends. This made me think of my little
Chirchir Is Singing by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Jude Daly follows a young Kenyan girl as she searches for a task she can successfully do to help her hard working family.

Chirchir tries to help her family, but she drops Mama's water bucket, spills Kogo's tea, splashes mud, and sends Baba's potatoes tumbling down the hill. Finally she finds a task perfectly suited to her cheerful temperment.

The lyrical text will transport readers to rural Kenya, where hard work is the order of each day. The c
How many times do we tell a child, "you are not old enough" or after they have made a mess, "just go do something else?" Probably more than we realize. Chirchir wants to help her family take care of their Kenyan compound, gathering food, cleaning up, building fires, but each time her attempts to help end up causing more work and Chirchir to be sent to do something else until she is finally told to "just go play." She hears the sound of crying on the wind and discovers that her older brother has ...more
A young Kalenjin girl, Chirchir, wants to be helpful, but her every attempt at helping Mama, Baba, Kogo ends up being a clumsy frustration. Finally, seeing her baby brother, Kiprop, sad and lonely, she entertains him with her singing, stops his crying, and relieves his loneliness.

The illustrations are folksy and capture the rolling hills (maybe the Nandi Hills?) of Kalenjin country in western Kenya quite nicely in all their peaceful openness.

An excellent story showing that little children aroun
cute book; use in the classroom during African heritage month, use in music class to illustrate importance of song in culture; use to teach citizenship and character (Chirchir finds her role in the small community/family by trying lots of different jobs).
4.5 rating for me....We meet Chirchir’s family as they are working. Mama, who is drawing water from the well; Kogo, her grandmother, tending fire to cook chai; Ji-Bet, her sister, spreading a fresh layer of cow dung and ashes on the floor of the kitchen hut; Baba, her father, digging potatoes in the hill garden. She sings everywhere she goes. And so she sings to her baby brother, which keeps him entertained , as her voice travels to the rest of her family and keeps them happy, too. Great languag ...more
Jessica Steele
This is a brightly illustrated book that gives American children a glimpse into some African culture, language and daily ins & outs. The character of this book ChirChir, is young and can be easily related to as most children have the same desires to be involved and help out in their family. The text would require adult support but this book could also easily be read independently via picture walks or retelling the story. This book is a good choice to present diversity through literature and ...more
Chirchir attempts to help many family members with their daily chores in her compound in Kenya, Africa, but for one reason or another she finds that the work is not for her. In the end her work finds her as she finds she's quite good at calming the baby by singing.

An author's note follows the story and gives some fo the inspiration for the story and some background information on the daily routine of families in Kenya. Also included is a glossary of Swahili words.

Illustrations were rendered in
This book is about a young girl that is trying to help out with the many activities that occur during the day at her family farm. She gets pushed away from every activity until she finds that she has a place caring for her infant brother. I think this book is great for K-4. This book really shows children that they have a place to be and that they can help out in unexpected ways. I would use this in my classroom when we are learning about things that we can do to try and help out our parents!
A little girl named Chirchir wants to help her family with their daily work. One by one, she helps each family member until something goes wrong and she's asked to go do something else. She sings proudly at first, but as her confidence wanes, her song gets slower and then stops. That's when she finds her own special way of contributing to the family. This is a very nice story. Kids can relate to Chirchir's frustration while subtly learning about daily life in a Kenyan village.
Chirchir, a young Kalenjin in Kenya, tries to find a way to help her family. She helps at the well and in the potato field but things go wrong. She is sent off to help someone else until finally, she finds a way to help the littlest member of her family. A sweet and predictable book about a young girl in Africa. Recommended for Kindergarten and Grade 1. The language might be a bit tough for younger students but the illustrations and themes are perfect for them.
I loved the author's earlier book, For You Are a Kenyan Child. This story roams a bit but is a quiet tale about a girl trying to contribute in her village. It's a familiar theme for kids: too old to play with smaller kids but too young to take on young adult tasks. She finally finds her role singing to baby Kip-rop.

I loved Jude Daly's illustrations in Fair, Brown & Trembling and enjoyed them here too, though they did not really evoke the setting for me.
I love the art, so I gave it four stars (though perhaps three is enough for the story). The story is meant to be educational about life in Africa, and the detailed art contributes to it. The story is nice, though I'm not entirely sure the children understood that the singing is the enough of a contribution from a child. The point for me was to get Son singing more.
Tameika King
Oct 08, 2013 Tameika King added it
Shelves: libs-642
Chirchir loves to sing and finds that if she is not good at anything else that she is a great singer. I loved the illustrations and the incorporation of Swahili words. To me, the illustrations and the font really gave me a folklore feel. I would use this book in a unit on folktales. I believe that this book could also be used to bring multiculturalism to the classroom.
Chirchir is wanting to help her family, and goes from family member to family member trying to help. Each time she creates more problems than help, although she does not give up trying to find someone to help and always with a song. Finally, she finds the job for her. Vibrant illustrations add to this charming book.
Kirsten Mellin
I really thought this book was cute. I loved the "singing", animal sounds, and the story line. My daughter loved when I would sing the story. It was very cute and creative and I love how she was able to find something she was able to help her family with. Very cute story!!
Poor little Chirchir keeps trying to help, but always ends up making things worse -- until she finds a way to help by taking care of her baby brother. A sweet, poetic story set in Kenya. The kids liked seeing how different the family chores were from our own.
A lovely lyrical text makes a simple universal story quite satisfying and a treat for the ear. The interesting setting adds even more to the story. I love picture books that work as a whole and are also gorgeous on the line-by-line level.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
One little girl in Kenya tries to find a place to fit in on her family's farm. Most jobs are a bit much for her until she finds just the right fit for her. Gentle illustrations and text work together to create a lovely story.
"Chirchir Is Singing" is a quiet, beautiful tale set in Kenya. It shows that even the smallest of individuals can make important contributions to our day to day lives.
What a sweet little book! Very poetic, evocative and peaceful. A little girl, too young to help with the family's chores, finds something she is good at by the end.
Set in Kenya, this is distinctive for story and art -- chichir just wants to help, but can't seem to do anything right -- but she can sing to the baby.
Aug 23, 2012 Paula rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: pic
From Africa, a member of the Kalenjin tribe is trying hard to do some chores. Glossary at the end of the book defines some of the language used in the book.
Chirchir, a young girl in Kenya, helps with different daily chores until she finds the one that she's best at: singing to her younger siblings.

3rd grade
Nice culture book. Allows perosn to sing with book which I always enjoy for more interaction with little one. Nice story of helping out in famiy.
slightly long for my storytime. good book for classroom use to supplement a unit on Kenya or Africa or farming and other topics.
Finally, a lovely and suitable fiction picture book to give kindergarten teachers when they need books about Africa
Edward Sullivan
Young Chirchir unsuccessfully tries to help her family in many ways unitl she finds something she can do well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Deep in the Sahara For You Are a Kenyan Child Muzungu (Junior African Writers: Level 1) All Around the World (Junior African Writers Starters)

Share This Book