I love going to the Telling Tales Festival held at Westfield Heritage Centre. This year due to a conflict and also the weather, my daughter and I were there briefly.
The only author we saw speak was Eric Walters, which is OK, because he is a favourite of my daughter and me. Walters graciously stood out in the rain while the audience took cover on the stage.
Before the presentation on the “Forest of Reading” stage, I had noticed that there was a poster for a new initiative called “I Read Canadian Day”. Walters started his talk with mentioning this event. The first time this will be celebrated is February 19, 2020. Bravo!
Walters also talked about his recent books including “Fourth Dimension” and “Broken Strings”, co-written with Kathy Kacer. But it was his third book, a picture book called “Light a Candle” co-written with Tanzanian native Godfrey Nkongolo that I was most interested to hear about. Tanzania is where my father was born, and it has a special place in my heart.
In Nkongolo’s bio, it states that “One of his passions is to promote African thought and show the world that although the widely known story of Africa is one of despair, Africa also has a message of hope.”
The story follows young Ngama, who is in the stage between child and man. His father, the chief of the Chagga people, and a group of men from the tribe are going to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to light the Uhuru (freedom) torch. Julius Nyerere had become president of a now independent Tanzania, and he made a request to light a candle at the top of the mountain, something he had spoken about doing before he became president. Ngama is told that he is not old enough, but he follows the men anyway and witnesses and then joins in the lighting of the torch. It’s a touching story, written in both English and Swahili.
Have you got any tales to tell from the Festival? Or any new picture book choices to share?
Shoe’s Sunday Stories
@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler