Funny. I live in one of the most northern cities in the world. As I write this, the landscape is bleached of colour, the snow is piled higher than in recent memory, and in spite of the arrival of spring a few days ago, the temperature refuses to inch above zero.

And yet, one of the finest African picture books, from one of the finest African storytellers originates from this winter city. Flipping through the pages of The Orphan Boy, a book that has been in my possession for almost twenty years, I am once again beguiled by the poetry of  Tololwa Mollel’s words as he recounts the Maasai legend of the planet Venus. It is enough to warm my blood, but in unison with Paul Morin’s wondrous paintings of Africa, I feel spirited out of my down-filled parka to the arid farmlands of Tanzania, gazing up at the star-filled night in the company of an old man who is destined to meet a very unusual boy.

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