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... When the Llama Constellation is missing from the sky, and the drought is affecting the crops, Kusikiy flies with Condor to the highest snowed peak to ask the Apu, the Guardian Spirit of the Mountain for the secrets of the rain.
KUSIKIY A CHILD FROM TAQUILE, PERU
The story of a loving and adventurous child offering children of all ages a multitude of opportunities to gain knowledge, to be entertained and be reminded that our world is formed by people who have different ways of thinking. This is a story that allows children to identify with a child from a foreign land, enhancing their understanding and empathy, which will extend to the significant groups in their community and the wider multicultural world. It is a book that gives parents and educators a visual and appealing way to engage children in a dialogue about traditional cultures, the meaning of community, sustainability and responsibility for our environment.
A Peruvian island in Lake Titicaca is the setting for this original myth about a boy who embarks on a crucial mission. When drought threatens the potato and quinoa crops of Taquile, Kusikiy flies on the back of a condor to make an offering to Apu, the Guardian Spirit of the Great Glacier. He asks the spirit to help bring about the return of the Llama Constellation, which heralds rain. After Kusikiy follows Apu s instructions to float a piece of ice on the lake to summon the stars, Clouds begin to smile and raindrops jump in the lake, and the islanders celebrate the end of the drought. The poetic narrative is often opaque ( At this altitude the dust of the full moon whitewashes the feathers of birds and the wind whistles stories of the beginning of life on Earth ), yet the story conveys Taquile s sense of community and strong intergenerational ties. Cecilia s folk art showcases the vibrancy of island traditions; images of intricately patterned handwoven and knit items are particularly striking. An author s note offers additional information about Taquile s customs and lifestyle. Ages 6 12.