Nelson, Marilyn. Ostrich and Lark. Honesdale, Pa: Boyds Mills Press, 2012. Print.
This book is about more than a child’s picture book by a Newberry Honor Book author; it is about breaking down barriers. The Kuru Art Project of Botswana provided the vibrant pictures for the tale that describes their journey as much as it does the story accompanying the art. And make no mistake about it, the book is about the art and it is fabulous. It is vibrant and adds color to the text that is a little more complicated than the art. In fact, the text is often overwhelmed by the art- which is not such a bad thing.
Ostrich and Lark is about finding one’s voice and that is a message that applies not only to writers, but learners of all shapes and sizes. The choice of characters just adds to the African feel of this book and introduces all types of life from the animal world, most not in the average child’s vernacular.
Teachers contemplating a study of Africa or African influence will not want to neglect this beautiful book. The images invite replication and kids are the perfect ones to attempt it. Librarians will also want to consider adding it to collections that need some more representation from true African art. Another educational opportunity and conversation also exists in the role that this art plays in helping an indigenous people realize their value and commodity in a world economy. Schools engaged in a serious program of world cultures will also want to acquire this book .