Sivu’s a wonderful stonemason but poor and envious of others who he thinks are more powerful than him. There’s the business man with his wealth and possessions, then the Mayor for whom everyone makes way. Through just wishing it, Sivu becomes whatever he is envious of and he finds loneliness and misery. People dislike him as the business man; hate him for the power and control he has as a Mayor. He wishes he could be the sun and when he is, he scorches the whole land and everyone curses him. He becomes the rain but causes floods, then the wind and wreaks havoc, until finally he blows against something that won’t move and he thinks that’s the most powerful thing – I want to be that. It’s a rock. Then one day he feels his shape being changed and he wonders what could be more powerful than him. ‘And while Sivu thought, far below him people watched in awe as a stonemason brought the rock to life.’
The story is told in language that flows and rolls off the tongue. There are lots of repetitive phrases which invite children to join in the chorus of reading the story aloud. The text, cleanly juxtaposed in vertical or horizontal panels, is enhanced by bold colour illustrations set in a contemporary African landscape. This version of the Taoist tale is visually pleasing and most certainly a story to be read aloud.