Lila and the Secret of Rain
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This simple but powerful story is set in Kenya during a ferocious drought when for weeks on end the heat makes it impossible for the villagers to tend their dying crops and thirsty cattle. As things become more and more desperate, Lila takes heart from her grandfather’s story about a man who persuaded the sky to weep, and sets off alone to see if she can do the same.
Text and graphics are both spare and vivid, a sentence or two on each page acting as caption to the ochre and orange landscapes, starved greenery and fierce sunlight of Lila’s quest. This is ultimately a tale of hope, but also one of struggle, courage and endurance, qualities warmly conveyed by the co-operation of words and pictures. The African setting is very effectively depicted, but the themes of this book are ones that young children might be helped to recognise in their own lives.