Alupo says reading is one of the surest ways of improving children’s literacy and a good practice that should be cultivated early
PARENTS should inculcate a reading culture among their children, the minister of education and sports Jessica Alupo has said.
Speaking at Hotel Protea last Sunday while launching Tendo’s Wish, a children’s book by Cathy Kreutter, a Ugandan American author, Alupo said reading is one of the surest ways of improving children’s literacy and a good practice that should be cultivated early.
She said Tendo’s Wish, is an enjoyable read that fits very well into the Government’s policy on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).
“You have made such a wonderful contribution to our education system as we move towards inculcating a reading culture into our population,” she told Kreutter. The Book was published by North Star Publishers.
Tendo’s wish is a tale of how a kind gesture by a school boy touches the lives of a number of people in a village, coming back full circle to him.
Tendo is a young schoolboy whose wish is to own a pair of shoes and a tin of polish. He is a hardworking and does his chores before going to school. On his way to school one day, Tendo passes by his grandmother’s house and offers her some firewood for her cooking. This gesture spreads throughout the entire village.
Touched by her grandson’s kindness Tendo’s grandmother offers a freshly baked chapatti to a hungry knife-sharpener. The sharpener helps sharpen a farmer’s panga to harvest some bananas. The farmer meets a hungry baby stuck to its uncles’ leg so much that he can’t work.
When lady farmer gives a banana to the baby, it lets its uncle free. He is later able to do his work and help another stranger who helps another stranger. Before we know it, Tendo’s kindness comes back to him when a cobbler who has been helped out of a difficult situation by a stranger offers Tendo a pair of shoes.
Told in bold, simple and colourful type, with creatively illustrated images by John Mary Mukiza and Eric Kreutter, Tendo’s wish is an interesting book that easily breaks down issues in a simple accessible style for children. It also imparts important values and lessons to the young ones on kindness, sharing and selflessness.
Kreutter described Tendo’s wish as a book about community, faith and timing.
Hon. Benson Ogwal, the director of North Star Publishers said Kreutter’s work has put his publishing house on the world map through her award winning book. “We thank her for trusting us with her work,” he said.
The book has garnered good reviews from different people in society.
“Tendo’s wish is a beautiful story of a boy who finds his dream come true. It shows that a small act of kindness may trigger a series of events that may make the world a better place. I highly recommend this book for all children, not only in Uganda but the world over, Els De Temmerman, author and former Vision Group editor in chief said.
‘The artwork depicts exciting encounters revealing intrinsic beauty in people and the environment which the artists seems to understand so well,” renowned artist Sanaa Gateja said.
Tendo’s wish is Kreutter’s second book in a series that have been published by North Star Publishers. The first book I Know An Old Muzee who swallowed A Fly won third place at the prestigious Moonbeam book awards in 2014. Kreutter has lived and worked in Uganda since 1981.
Tendo’s joy was printed by Vision Group printing and is available for sale in different book centres in and around Kampala.