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From the yellow flowers and green leaves to the gold of commerce and brown of dirt, to the symbolic colors that unite all of Africa, the beauty, strength and vibrancy of Ethiopian culture shine in charming illustrations by a talented team of volunteer illustrators. Side by side text in English and indigenous Ethiopian languages like Amharic, Tigrinya and Afaan Oromo support emerging bilingual readers as they build language skills like vocabulary and fluency.
Visitors to Ethiopia who have seen only the colorless images of Ethiopian poverty common in Western media are often astonished to find green grass and forests, high blue and purple mountains, rivers and waterfalls. It is a place of bright colors that never get blanketed in snow, although bright yellow meskel daisies and green grass do really seem to pop as dry season ends and rainy season begins.In the West near the Sudanese border, the Asosa zone (in the Benishangul-Gumuz region) is an area of bamboo trees and rainforests. Archeological sites suggest this might be the location of the oldest gold mine in the world—possibly an important source of gold for the ancient Egyptian empire. Some experts think it also might have been where the Queen of Sheba got her gifts of gold when she visited King Solomon of Israel almost 3,000 years ago. Gold and silver coins were part of the great Empire of Axum in northern Ethiopia. Today, jewelry made from silver and (especially) gold is still worn, admired and given as gifts by many Ethiopians.
Most of the characters in this book were created by Bethlehem (Beth) Molly, a 2016 graduate of Ale school of fine arts and design. Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she has been interested in art for quite a while. After graduating from Addis Ababa University, she opened her own small company called Dede Studio, a place for creative digital arts, illustrations, animation and related works. Other artwork for this book was created by volunteers with Clark College ECD (Economic and Community Development). The illustrations were woven together by Jordy Farrell.
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