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Over the Green Hills

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Zolani and his mother are going to visit Grandma Zindzi. Zolani loads a wet sack of mussels, a present for his grandmother, on a sturdy young goat. His mother settles little Noma comfortably on her own back and balances a box of dried fish and a basket of mielies on her head. They will walk many miles across the Transkei countryside before they reach Grandma Zindzi's.

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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 26th 1992 by Greenwillow Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  30 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Laura Stefanovic
This book looked extremely interesting from the front cover; big picture on the front and very colourful.

This book is great for all young children, showing how families are supposed to take care of each other, and this message is reinforced throughout. Also, this book is very multicultural which is not very common in the books I have read recently, and is therefore lovely to see in this book.

On the journey Zolani takes on route to visit his grandmother, you get a glimpse of life in South Africa
Emily A
Shows life in a very different part of the world. Good family values.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm looking forward to reading this book to the kids. The tasks the characters engage in are relatable to children in rural Guatemala. I can use this book to teach setting, character, problem and first, next, last and retelling.
(First, they get a pumpkin. Next, they get wood. Next, they help a man with a pig. Then they see an ostrich. Then they buy a hen. Next Zolani gets a new book. Finally they arrive at grandma's. )

Comprehension check questions:
- Where are Zolani and his mother going? (grand
In the book, Over the Green Hillsthe main character. Zolani is gathering up food for his mother and grandmother. Zolani searches for mussels that he will give his grandmother upon her arrival. The story is about Zolani and his journey to see his grandmother. This is a non traditional picture storybook because of the culture and names within the book. Zolani lives a very differnt life which would be interesting for other children to read about. The sentence structure of this book is longer than o ...more
The fact the author's note tells you exactly where in South Africa the story takes place (Mpame - a village in the Transkei) and tried to preserve some of the original language (rondavel) and (Mielies) for me is already a good sign that the writer is trying to share and preserve some culture signifiers of these people.

Each page is set as a wonderful, brightly-coloured and absorbing double-page spread in which the rich watercolours really highlight the warmth and tenderness of the South African
Feb 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-culture
I wanted to like this book. I had read another book by Rachel Isadora that brings important culture concepts to light. However, I did not find myself liking this book either. The art work is beautiful yet the story line lacks a good kick to it. If I used this book or her other book about the Carribean, I would use the pcitures to talk about the cultures represented but leave the story telling or fact sharing to me or the students.
Brian Cave
This is a story of Zolani and his mother's journey across a countryside for his grandmother's birthday. This is no simple trip. The journey through Transkei, a countryside in South Africa, where Zolani brings a bad of muscles on a goat. The muscles are a present for his grandmother's birthday. A good book to show how African-American heritage is, as well as South Africa.
Cara Byrne
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
There are aspects of this picture book that I liked, including the beautiful illustrations and a rare instance of illustrating breastfeeding in a picture book, but the story and writing were lacking.
Natalie Weber
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This would work for reaching other cultures.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A lovely story accompanied by pretty watercolors that capture place wonderfully.
Chelsea Kimmey
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cultural, family
This text would be useful for helping children understand how different cultures live
Deb Carter
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love the illustrations and the author's choice of local plants, animals, and quite frankly, a different version of life in Africa than we usually read. Beautiful done.
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
the the story is good, but having the glossary so small i needed a magnifying glasss to read it was annoying looking forward to reading more books by rachel isadora.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. It honestly gave me a different perspective to life in Africa than what is usually portrayed in the media.
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Rachel Isadora is an award-winning children's author and illustrator. She has written children's books on multiple topics including ballet, life in America and Africa, and has illustrated several Brother Grimm tales in an African setting. She is most well-known for her Caldecott Honor Award book "Ben's Trumpet". She was a ballet dancer before she became an illustrator and children's writer.

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