Big Boy


Year Published: 1995
Written by: Tololwa M. Mollel
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis

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School Library Journal

Little Oli wants to be big enough to go bird hunting with his older brother, Mbachu, and to his amazement and eventual dismay, his wish to become as big as a mountain and as strong as the wind comes true. “This is a lovely title that speaks to the African experience in an authentic voice. A book that belongs in every collection.”

Publishers Weekly

“Mollel’s story is an engaging fantasy for little ones with big aspirations … Lewis’s pleasing compositions, with their surprising perspectives, incorporate details particular to the Tanzanian setting even as they evoke a sense of boundless space.”

American Library Association

“Lewis’ sunlit double-page-spread watercolors show a village boy in shorts, shirt, and sneakers. The baskets, calabashes, and brilliantly colored woven cloths in his home are part of family daily life. Outside is the bush with an astonishing giant baobab tree. Mollel includes a brief glossary of Kaswahili words and a note about how he’s adapted the tale from various African stories of the prodigious child, both strong and vulnerable.”