As Big as the Sky

Carolyn Rose (Author) Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator)
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Product Details

Sterling Children's Books
Publish Date
January 07, 2020
8.7 X 11.0 X 0.5 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Carolyn Rose spent many years teaching, reading, and enjoying children's books with her students. She and her husband, Bob, have volunteered in the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, enjoying the cultures and the people they meet. The story of As Big as the Sky sprang from a trip to Malawi with Marion Medical Mission. Carolyn and Bob live in Golden, CO. Follow her travels on

Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, NY, and grew up in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. As a little girl, she loved to draw, paint, make up dances, and play dress-up; as she grew up, she didn't really change! Elizabeth now lives in Albany, where she draws, paints, silk-screens, sews, daydreams, and makes beaded jewelry. Her work is largely influenced by the people, places, and things from her childhood in the Ivory Coast.


"An homage to the resourcefulness of children, whose ingenuity is their wealth. Caleb and his younger sister, Prisca, are inseparable. When Caleb comes down with malaria, Prisca brings him tea and nsima, a Malawian cornmeal dish. When Prisca can't carry the bucket on her head during chores, Caleb helps. So when Caleb leaves the village for school in Chimwe, Prisca misses him so much that she seeks help from the peddler Tewa Tewa. She makes painted rocks, paper-bead necklaces, and corn-husk dolls to earn travel money, but Tewa Tewa's customers don't buy them. Still, Prisca always welcomes the peddler warmly. When he visits with his newly repaired bike, he agrees to take Prisca and her mother to Chimwe. Based on a family Rose met on a medical mission, this quiet tale emphasizes the sacrifices families often make to educate their children. Zunon's full-bleed illustrations . . . give readers a sense of village life in Malawi and effectively show that familial love is not contingent upon material possessions. The book's final image, of Caleb reading to Prisca, also highlights the gift older siblings give younger siblings when they share their love of literacy. An author's note closes with URLs for organizations that fund girls' education in developing countries. A worthwhile read. (maps, glossary)" --Kirkus