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Adrift in sea of hopelessness brought about by the annihilation of his family and community at the hand of early discoverers of the “New World,” the young Caonaciba faces the decision confronting every victim of trauma: “Do I choose death or life?” The utter simplicity of the story reveals the hand of master storytellers whose gifts for narrative are enhanced by their intricate knowledge of the human psyche and their redeeming outlook on life. Yvonne Gabriel’s inviting drawings illustrate the depths of Caonaciba’s paralyzing despair, the abiding presence of the guardian dove, and Caonaciba’s painful hesitancy on moving forward. The story can be read on many levels. Its simple story line and winsome pictures appeal to children of all ages, while its timeless message of hope and regeneration engages the brokenness descriptive of the human condition.
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