THE HERD BOY

by Nancy Bo Flood on January 11, 2013

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We all have impossible dreams.  For some, dreams are more impossible than for others. For some, they make those dreams come true.  The Herd Boy dreams about being President of his African country.  Such foolishness!

In this picture book story of THE HERD BOYNiki Daly slowly and delightfully introduces the reader to rural life in South Africa.  His illustrations are filled with details that transport the reader across oceans and show the beauty in both the land and the people. For the Herd Boy there are snakes to avoid, soccer to play, goats to watch, even baboons to fight – all this in a rich detailed setting of villages and families, friends and wild animals.  This story could have been the story of South Africa’s first Black President, Nelson Mandela, who was in fact a herd boy as a youngster.  One of many gifts from this book is stirring up questions about Mandela and his life as a child and his journey to realize his impossible dream, to become a leader of his people.  One can hardly resist first consulting Wikipedia and then searching for more good books about one of the world’s finest leaders.  Published by Erdmans, 2012

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