Go Get ‘Em, Tiger! / As Big as the Sky

Go Get ‘Em, Tiger!
Sabrina Moyle and Eunice Moyle
Abrams Appleseed

Believe in yourself, is the message that grins, growls, giggles and positively shines out from the Moyle sisters’ latest offering.

Throughout Sabrina’s rhythmic, rhyming text that switches between the distinctly upbeat – No matter who you choose/ to be, you’ll be/ TERRR-IFIC./ Wait and see!’ – softer spoken exhortations – ‘ be humble’ and gentle warning – ‘You’ll make mistakes./ Things will go wrong./ And when they do,/ you’ll carry on.’

The emphasis is on resilience, finding your inner strength, and focussing on the possible; on kindness, ( You will see creatures who are stuck, / feeling lost, down on their luck. / To these new friends, you’ll lend a hand … ), consideration (‘use your strength to shine a light / on what is wrong and what is RIGHT ) and thoughtfulness.

Optimism rules.
The same is true in Eunice’s bright (with fluorescent touches), exuberant scenes of little Tiger and its community: they’re expressive and an effective complement to the words.

Perhaps the characters in the next book were inspired by the advice to that Tiger

As Big as the Sky
Carolyn Rose and Elizabeth Zunon
Sterling Children’s Books

Inspired by a real life meeting of the author and Caleb’s parents and sister, this story is of two at one time inseparable siblings, Prisca and her big brother Caleb.

He carries a bucket of water when the load is too heavy for her; and when Caleb gets malaria she brings sweet tea and nsima (a Malawian cornmeal dish) to his sick bed, and makes him laugh by chastising the mosquitos. But Caleb has set his sights on a better education than the village school can provide, so he goes to live with Grandma in Chimwe, a considerable distance away.

Eager to see him but lacking the wherewithal to pay the transport fares, she begins some entrepreneurial endeavours,

creating various items that the kindly peddler, Tewa Tewa, tries to sell on her behalf but without any luck. Still though, the man always receives a warm welcome from the child. The rains come putting paid to her creations,; again there’s no chance to get to Chimwe. But then one bright, dry day Tewa Tewa returns with nothing to sell on his bike.

Prisca asks him if he could possibly carry both her mother and herself all the way to Chimwe. After a little consideration on his part, all three set off on the long bumpy road

and finally, after many hours and absolutely exhausted, the wonderful man manages to reach their destination. There a joyful sibling reunion takes place.

Carolyn Rose’s uplifting story pays homage to the resourcefulness of children who have little in the way of money, but are full of love, kindness and ingenuity. It’s also a window into some of the hardships village-living families face in parts of Africa including Malawi.