Photographs : Margaret Courtney-Clarke
Publisher: Clarkson Potter, Inc./Publishers; 1994
Nonfiction for grades 1-3
Topics: Friendship, world cultures, Africa, art
Opening: “Hello Stranger-friend. I am Thandi, an Ndebele girl in South Africa. I am eight years old, and my best friend is a chicken.”
Synopsis: Thandi shares the unique beauty of her culture (painted houses and beaded clothes) while relating the universal themes of friendship, family, and fun. Readers connect to Thandi as she proudly looks inward at her people and outward to the world, full of hope at making a new friend from afar.
Resources: How to pronounce Ndebele - http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/ndebeleWhen I was a third grade teacher, I used this book during our African studies unit. You could easily create art projects around the painted houses and beadwork shown in the book. As a writing exercise, students can write a letter to Thandi in a similar style, sharing what is important in their own culture.
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