The Orphan Boy by Tololwa Mollel


The Orphan Boy by Tololwa Mollel

Governor General's Award for IllustrationInternational Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honour Book Award for IllustrationAmerican Library Association Notable Book Award, 1991

The Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award for Illustration One night the old man looked at the stars but one was missing! Suddenly he heard footsteps. He turned his head to see an orphan boy. The man and the boy lived together. The boy had a special secret that he said he couldn't share. The man's curiosity got the better of him and his life was changed forever.This award-winning picture book is based on a Maasai legend about the planet Venus and tells of a loyal affection despite broken trust.

Accompanied by magnificent paintings of Africa.


This is a book that will widen the world of its readers. -- School Library Journal

Mollel's elegant telling is lucid and tender, giving the story's familiar outline unusual appeal. Morin provides luminous paintings that capture the rich gold of slanting sunlight and the shadowed blues of night with uncommon drama and beauty....Outstanding. -- Kirkus Review

There is much about the book that cannot better be described than with the word, beautiful. Morin captures the beauty of traditional African dress and, although written in prose, Mollel's writing has a beautifully poetic, lyrical quality to it. The writing is descriptive and engaging. The sentences are generally short and direct, yet Mollel is able to say a lot with relatively few words. . .

About the Author

Tololwa Mollel is a children's author, dramatist and storyteller. He grew up in Arusha Tanzania at the times when oral tradition was still alive and well. Tololwa has written over sixteen books using traditional folklore as their basis. He has worked as an actor and university theatre instructor in Tanzania and Canada, and as a writer-in-residence for the Edmonton Public Library. His books include award-winning titles such as Orphan Boy, Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper!, Big Boy, and My Rows and Piles of Coins. His books have been translated into various South African languages and into Korean. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.Paul Morin is an artist, musician, photographer, and filmmaker who has illustrated over dozen picture books, including The Ghost Dance, and Animal Dreaming. With the debut of The Orphan Boy in 1990, Morin.s art was met with overwhelming praise for his gorgeous oil paintings containing grit, sand, and twigs from the African landscape. Paul has received many accolades for his work, including a nomination for the Kate Greenaway Medal and two Society of Illustrators' awards.

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Tololwa Mollel
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Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd

Publication date

27th October 2016



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