Young Nassali longs to read and write like her brother, but since her mother's death, Nassali is responsible for looking after her younger siblings and running the household. There is no time for books and learning. Then one day, she wakes up to discover that her chores have been taken care of. It is her first gift day. From that day on, once a week, her brother gives Nassali the gift of time so that she can pursue her dream of an education, just as her mother would have wanted.
is an author, poet, and performer. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario, where she teaches drama-in- education. She is the author of Buzz About Bees.
has illustrated numerous children's books, including educational publishings over a span of 20 years. He studied at the Ontario College of Art. He is also a fine artist who has showcased his art at Toronto arts festivals, including the Caribana art exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum. Mr. Taylor was born in Dulwich, England and currently resides in Toronto, Canada with his wife and son.
"The gauzy artwork reminiscent of the work of Floyd Cooper, captures busy village life, but more often, the solitary moments, where Nassali can do no more than hug a book to her, hoping to somehow bring its knowledge inside her. The final informative spread, with photos, explains what life is like for Ugandan children trying to get an education."
"The straightforward narrative, using a select number of Lugandan words, offers a window into the contemporary rural culture of Uganda (including the Nassali's child-like reference to "the [clearly fair-skinned researchers who came from far away and always wrote on the whitest paper"). . . Stephen Taylor, a seasoned book illustrator, places solid human figures in colourful modern dress against a sepia background. . . For the subject matter alone, this book belongs in all primary school and public library collections."
— CM Magazine