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Just a Pile of Rice
by Verna Wilkins and Gill Mclean
(Tamarind Books) 1870516060
When a Chinese carpenter is asked to build a temple for a festival, he can't work out how to put the roof on the pillars until he has an unexpected visitor. It's a god in disguise who uses a pile of rice to show him how to build a ramp and push the roof into place. Unfortunately there isn't a picture of this being done - only a text description of the process. Despite this, the story reads aloud well and leads on naturally to practical work on pushing, pulling and lifting. There are good ideas for follow on activities at the back of the book.
Ages 6 upwards
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Abena and the Rock
by Verna Wilkins and Gill Mclean
(Tamarind Books)
The rainy season comes to Ghana and destroys the village of a little girl called Abena. It leaves a huge rock which has to be removed before the village can be rebuilt but no one knows how to do it until Abena has an idea. An interesting, well told story with good ideas for follow up work at the back. It leads naturally to work on problem solving and forces and is also useful for looking at how other children live.
Ages 6 upwards.
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