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Going on a Lion Hunt    

Written by Jan G. Hansen

Illustrated by Deborah Pryce

Thandi, whose name means "Nurturing Love," leads a brother and sister on a walk to get some water. Along the way they meet friends such as Bulelani ("Let's Be Thankful") who lives with his cousins and grandmother. In the end we find out that Thandi is the older sister in a child headed household. The story is written so that an adult can read it with a child and talk about some of the challenges faced by other children. This story is based on lives lived by children in southern Africa whose parents have suffered because of AIDS.

 

 

"A Powerful Story."     ~ Anne Gardner, Executive Director, Bracelet of Hope

This book was written in partnership with The Bracelet of Hope. They are a group who raise money to help people who are suffering. They focus their support on Lesotho, a country at the southern end of Africa where many people are sick with AIDS. The Bracelet of Hope helps people stay healthy, helps people who are sick with AIDS, and helps children who have lost parents because of AIDS. Plans are underway to make this book part of the education component of a kit to help schools raise funds for the Bracelet of Hope.

From the book

"Wake up, sleepy heads," I sang to the children.  

Themba stretched his arms over his head, arching his back.  Vuyelwa kept her eyes clamped firmly shut.  She began sucking quietly on her thumb.

I laughed and said, "Strong warriors!  Today we will go on a lion hunt.  Maybe we can find one on the other side of the village, by the water tap."

Themba sat up on the grass mat, turned and rubbed his little sister's back.  "Maybe we should bring the water jug and fill it up," he said.

"Good idea," I agreed.  He had realized that I was trying to make a game out of an errand.

"Hunters need a healthy breakfast," said Vuyelwa without opening her eyes.

"We haven't finished the mangos that the neighbour gave us yesterday." I said.

They smiled.  It was a good way to start the day.

Click here for free teacher ideas for using Going on a Lion Hunt.

Where did the story come from?

A boy at my school wanted to raise some money to help people suffering from AIDS. It was a project to help him prepare for his Bar Mitzbah.  I agreed to help him, but wanted to do more than just ask for money. We were a school. I figured that we should use this as a chance to learn. I know that the best way to learn about others is to hear their stories, but I could not find any picture books or short stories that would help the students in my school understand what it was like to be a child living in an area where there are a lot of people suffering because of AIDS. I decided to write the story, to help children understand that sickness affects more than just the sick people. I also wanted them to understand that no matter where they are, children want to live lives full of fun and adventure, and the chance to love and be loved.