Comment Wall

Please leave your comments here! I look forward to seeing your thoughts and feedback. Here is the link to the project:

Image information: Silhouettes of Giraffes and Rhinoceros by Pixabay


  1. Storybook Introduction Page:
    Hi Karissa! Great job on getting started on your storybook. I think that it is really cool that you have a personal connection to the topic you are covering, so that will make for a unique storytelling perspective. You did a nice job of introducing the topic of book in the first half of the introduction before really setting the scene for the rest of your stories to follow. I also have to compliment your image use on this page. The long landscape picture really had my eye picturing looking out and seeing that nature all around me.

    Describing your book a web of stories was a really great idea! Are the characters mentioned like the Rabbit and the Tortoise going to be featured in stories later on? It might be helpful to let the reader know a little bit more about what it goes to come so that they feel compelled to move forward through the stories. I can’t wait to see where you storybook goes from here!

  2. Hi Karissa!

    I really liked the images you have on your storybook so far and I thought it was cool that you talked about your mother and what draws your interest to African mythology in your introduction. I also thought the way you described the relationship between people and animals in Africa was really interesting. It really caught my attention and made me curious to know what stories are going into your storybook. I think it is really good context to give the reader before plunging into your stories. I do think you could maybe have a stronger concluding sentence though. Maybe instead of stating that showing the interelatedness is your purpose you could end with a more open invitation almost daring the reader to see for themselves in your stories instead. I think your project has a really great concept behind it and I am excited to see it continue to progress.

  3. Hi Karissa,

    This is a great concept, made all the more promising by the personal connection you have to the subject!

    I thought that the modern adaptation of the fairy tale worked very well; the writing is good, the pictures are beautiful, and the whole thing works well. I’m very curious to see what the story is with the non-existence or disappearance of Mwami. Did it ever exist? Is it hidden by some magic?

    I saw in your revision notes that you are considering making the story third-person. While that would certainly be a valid choice for you to make, I think it does also work quite well in first person, and I like the combination of first-person with the modern setting: I think that they compliment each other in forming what I’m assuming will become a sort of a magical realism feeling. (That is, if Mwami really does have anything… strange happening.)


  4. Hey Karissa! I really like your story so far. I love that you decided to focus your storybook project on stories and tales from Zimbabwe because your family is from there. I think that's a really cool way to honor your family and help others learn more about Zimbabwe! First off, I really like the layout of your storybook. It's very nice-looking and easy to read. I really love all the pictures you've included throughout your stories as well; they are all so beautiful and fit with your stories perfectly. They really bring life to the stories and allow the reader to imagine exactly what's going on in the story. Also, I think your writing by itself is really great as well. I liked your introduction where you talked about how you are related to Zimbabwe, but maybe you might consider introducing what the rest of your stories will be about earlier? Reading the introduction, I got the impression that your stories would just be compilations of stories you'd found related to Zimbabwe, instead of a narrative by Rudo. I was a little confused when you mentioned her at the very end and then made her such a huge part of your stories on the next page. As far as your first Rudo story, I really liked the way you wrote it! I enjoyed the first person, because we were really able to feel how Rudo was feeling. I like that you ended it on a cliffhanger as well; it really makes readers interested in moving to the next page. I'm excited to read more!

  5. Hi Karissa! I love your project so far and think it is so cool that your stories are inspired by Zimbabwe! I think that the personal connection you have makes your stories even more personal and unique. I appreciated the background that you provided in your Introduction about the relationship between humans and animals. I am wondering if you are going to mention this in your next few stories? I love the photo of the elephant you chose as your banner image for your StoryBook. It’s beautiful and I think does a good job at showing the close relationship that existed between the people and animals. After reading your story “The Displaced Mother”, I am in awe of the way you wrote the story and the twist you added from the original. The line “I'm going on a quest for a new purpose in life and to rediscover my motherhood” was slightly confusing to me… Most of your story is written in the third person and this line is in first person, so maybe consider rephrasing it! Just an idea! Great job!

  6. Hey Karissa!
    My first impression of your page, just based off of the heading picture, had me so intrigued and excited to see what was to come for your website! Great job! As I read the introduction, I loved how you introduced exactly what your story would include, as well as including a map. The map was a nice touch because it allows readers to understand where the stories are going to be taking place. This was great! I also love how you included the detail about your mom- that is so cool. It's awesome that you get to spend the semester working on a project that you have a special connection with, I love that. I really enjoyed how detailed your author's note was on the first story. I think this really helped me to understand what changes you made, as well as your motivation for these changes. Your writing style is very easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Overall, I have really enjoyed reading your website and I can't wait to keep up this semester!

  7. Hi, Karissa! I like that you’re working on a storybook project that means so much to you personally. I don’t believe I’ve seen a project created from that mindset, and I’m excited to read yours! I hope I can learn more about Zimbabwe and Rudo from your future stories.

    That said, I think it would be awesome to have a brief introduction for Rudo! Who is she, and what is her significance in this story? How does her narrative tie in with the others? I think that would help the readers understand what to expect from this story without giving too much away. I’m also aware that a lot of animal folk tales are derived from Africa. I’m excited to see where you’ll draw your influences from for this “Web of Stories.”

    Additionally, your website looks great so far! The site functions well and all the images are connected to one another, creating a solid theme. Overall, I’m excited to read your stories this semester—keep up the good work!

  8. Hi Karissa! I love that you're working on a project that you have a personal connection to! I think it'll make for a really powerful story.

    I saw in your author's note that you're considering making your story third-person. I think you can if you want, but I actually really like the first person perspective! I think what might enhance it is adding more detail to Rudo in the introduction. If the reader already has background knowledge, it'll be easier for us to put ourselves in her shoes! Otherwise, I think your introduction is great.

    I really enjoyed your first story. You did a great job of taking me on both an emotional and physical journey with your descriptions! I like the idea you have in your author's notes to make the mother/son/daughter-in-law relationship more complicated, just because I think that conflict is the core of your story but does seem like it could be elevated! I like how you placed the photos throughout your story as well. Great job, I can't wait to see where you're going with it!

  9. Hi Karissa! This project is so connected to African culture and it reads so well. I can tell you are passionate about this subject and it shows through your storybook.

    I would like to speak on what I read in your authors note about making the story read from a third person perspective. This is a wonderful idea that i think you should pursue in the right way. I can honestly say that your story as of now is amazing as it is. It directly reflects the passion you have for this story. But if you would like to pursue a creative variable you might create a one of story or a separate tale about the same events. I love the idea of this story from a third person perspective but I hope that this can be executed in the right way in order to continue cohesiveness throughout the storybook.

    Overall I really enjoyed reading this storybook, your passion and writing ability is showcased in the greatest way. I can't wait to follow this story and see where you take it!

  10. Hello Karissa! That is so fascinating that your mother grew up in Zimbabwe and that you have the opportunity to read stories from around that region. It is such a great way to learn new information about your family's history! Your introduction page was a great way to start your project and I really enjoy how you described the different animals' personalities and traits alongside the local people's ways of living! Your first story was also written wonderfully and your descriptions of the scenery alongside the pictures you included made the story so fun to read. I see at the bottom of the page you included a revision checklist and I do not have any other suggestions from those. Overall, I really enjoyed your story and the descriptions that you used to bring the story to life. I am looking forward to reading more of your project in the future!

  11. Hey there Karissa! I absolutely love that you chose to write about a topic that is close to your heart. I think that some of the best writing comes from the ability for the author to show who they are in their stories, and I think this is a great opportunity for you to do so. I had a good friend in high school who was from Zimbabwe, and so I was really excited to take a look at your project. Your introduction page was really engaging and provided some fun information that will be really helpful to readers in the future. I liked how you chose pictures that matched your topic, and they have a nice vibe to the page overall. Your first story is great, and I love how you have the revisions at the bottom of the page. I cant wait to check out your project in the future and read more stories you write!

  12. Hi Karissa,

    That's fascinating that your mother grew up around Zimbabwe so you have a really good idea of what the area is like. I think that will help a lot with your storytelling. In "The Displaced Mother," I thought it was sad that Tatenda was so standoffish to Kuda's mother. Did she not have any empathy for Kuda's mom? I'm a little surprised that Kuda took Tatenda's side so quickly. Why didn't Kuda get everyone together and have a talk to find a compromise? I think Kuda could've handled the situation better by telling his mom to not spend so much money on food (just stop giving her too much money to spend?) and telling Tatenda that this situation is temporary and she needs to stop being so selfish. I do wonder how long his mom was staying with them before Kuda told her she had to go? I liked reading your story and I'm looking forward to the next one.

  13. Hi Karissa!
    This is my second time seeing your storybook and I am really impressed with the changes you made to your introduction. The map is a great touch and I really liked how you kind of went back and forth between your personal connection to Africa and talking about African mythology and traditions. I really liked your first story as well. I think it was a good idea to tell this story from the perspective of the mother but I felt like her perspective didn't really make sense. She admits to wanting attention but doesn't really talk about doing anything wrong so I was confused as to why she was really kicked out until I read your author's note and learned more about the original story. I can understand why she wouldn't want to admit her wrong-doing but knowing what she did wrong is kind of necessary for the story. Maybe if the mother was more defensive and bitter when asked to leave rather than willing and hoping to become a better mother you could have her react to accusations from her son and his wife (i.e. I can't believe Kuda believes I dressed in his clothes and ate his food). This would let you give voice to the perspective of Kuda and his wife while still telling the story from the mother's point of view. Also, I really like your cliffhanger sort of ending and it definitely makes me excited to see your next story.

  14. Hello!

    Your story book is beautiful! I love all the pictures you used of the different landscapes and animals. They’re so vivid and detailed! Your stories were really good as well. I felt bad for Rudo, I hope she finds what she is looking for and can feel at home again. I enjoyed your first tale of the tortoise and the elephant but I wish it would have gone a bit further to tell us how the conflict between the two ended. I’m also really curious to find out what happened to Mwami and why Rudo can’t find it or why no one seems to have heard of it? You have a lot of room that you can work with and I’m really excited to see how the story of Rudo plays out. I am also excited to read more of the African tales and see more of the beautiful images you have been using. Great job and good luck!

  15. Hey Karissa!
    I really enjoyed your storybook! I thought it was great, how in your introduction you let us know what we were going to encounter as we went through your storybook. I felt fully prepared to understand what I was going to read. I must say that the pictures that you included in the intro, the first story, and the second story, really helped bring what I was reading to life. I felt that I was able to visualize what I was reading and it’s kind of played out like a movie in my head. I definitely think it would have been interesting if the story had come third person. A lot of stories that I have read usually have first person narration or first-person views. So, adding this new and exciting concept would work well for you, I think. I think your story book is coming along great! Keep up the good work.

  16. Hi Karissa!

    Your storybook is looking great, nicely done! I mainly focused on visuals and pictures, and you're doing a great job of that in your project. The main featured image of the elephant with the sun in the background looks so nice. It really complements your stories well. The map you included in the introduction was so helpful and fun to look at, I really enjoy maps. I love that you were "drawn to learning more of the mythological history of Africa because of my family history." That's an awesome reason to learn more about it. The landscape picture at the bottom of the introduction stage is stunning, beautiful. On the "displaced mother" story page, the waterfall image is vivid and the zebras running are very compelling. I'm so impressed with your selection of pictures! I like your "The Hippopotamus and Elephant," page, but an additional image could be nice! The stories were fun to read. This is a great storybook, you've done an awesome job.

  17. Hey Karissa! I really love the idea you went with for this storybook. I really appreciate the personal investment you have to this topic; that's only going to help you moving forward. I think you do a great job of giving us a glimpse of Zimbabwean culture in your introduction. Not only did I learn about the cultural emphasis on nature and wildlife, but also about the sociopolitical turmoil and the role it plays in the stories. As a whole, your writing is really descriptive. You portrayed the mother's struggles really well and were also very detailed in your plot line and how it progressed. This really helps pull at the drawstrings of the reader; the empathy they feel urges them to read on. I think you could include a little more information about Chi in your first story. What is her role in your protagonist's life? You've got a really good project on your hands!

  18. Hello Karissa,
    I really enjoyed this story and the way you interpreted it. Your own modern twist did well. I am glad you put the story into first person because I think it made the story more...intimate. You could better feel the mother's thoughts and feelings. I also thought you put in good detail. The story was very easy to read. It flowed nicely. I am very curious to know why the mom's friend does not know of Rudo's hometown. In the second part of your story it is over grown but there is no explanation of this. I would love to hear what happened to the village. There is also no explanation of Mwera is. Maybe you could explain this in more detail as well. I was a little confused when Rudo was a part of the story and then kind of disappeared when the animals began interacting. What happened to Rudo? I can't wait to hear more about the story!

  19. HI Karissa!
    First off, the first picture is breathtaking. All of the images you used in this project make me want to travel to Africa as soon as possible. Anyways, this week the feedback is focused on the author's note. To really dial in on your author's notes I read them first before reading the story......and like your first one is incredible. I love how you summed up the revisions at the bottom. I think that is an awesome idea. You only have it on the first story, so I would add it to the other two. I also like how you included several links so I could explore some of the points that your brought up. The biggest thing I think you should focus on is expanding on the last two author's notes. Especially the last one. I would personally just copy the same layout as that first story, but there are endless possibilities. If you have some time look at that, but overall well done on the stories!

  20. Hi Karissa!
    First of all, I just wanted to say that I loved getting to read your storybook. The subject and idea behind its creation is beautiful, and it was very cool getting to dive into the mythological world of Africa with you! Also, the pictures you used were stunning and lent a lot to the detailed depiction of the world of African mythology. In terms of your formatting/use of paragraphs, I am a big fan of how you chose to write these stories. I noticed that in most of the individual stories, you chose to begin with a medium to large sized paragraph to give background information or set the scene. I feel that this was a good choice, as it allows for the reader to have as much information as possible before reading dialogue between characters. Speaking of dialogue, I also noticed that you mostly split it up into one or two lines each, which I thought was a good move. Overall, great job!

  21. Hi Karissa!

    This is my first visiting your storybook. I was very intrigued by your theme! That's so cool how you used your family history as inspiration. It's also perfect that you could use your actual experience from visiting a few countries in southern African to paint the scenes in your stories.

    I thought your paragraph style worked very well. I appreciate that most of your paragraphs are only a few sentences. It sets a good pace for your stories. I also think it makes them easier to read in that the possibility of getting lost or losing your place is more likely to happen in a bigger paragraph than a smaller paragraph. I also like that you use a lot of dialogue between the characters. It's kind of like reading a script. I find that I too use a lot of dialogue in my stories. I think it makes stories easier to follow and gives readers more of a feel for a character's personaliy.

    I can't wait to read the last part of your story!

  22. Hi Karissa! I am very glad that I got the opportunity to read your storybook. I thought the ideas were very creative and I definitely enjoyed reading the whole thing. I didn't have much knowledge about the myths and stories of Africa before reading this, so it was super interesting to be able to learn more about the subject. The biggest thing I have to say about your storybook was the incredible use of images on the website. It brings so much life to the reading, and is a lot more impressive than my storybook, I can't even lie. I also really liked how you took the time to talk about your revisions in the author's note; that added a lot of insight to your story. Another great thing about this was your ability to introduce the stories well. This made it very easy for me to understand. I can't wait to read more!

  23. Hi Karissa! I absolutely love your storybook. The fact that it's a personal exploration of your Zimbabwean identity and culture makes it exciting to read. The images you chose really put the reader into the setting.
    One critique I would make is to choose between either first person or third person. It is distracting to make the switch from the first story told in first person to the next with a sudden change in point of view. I understand the predicament you're in because it is more compelling for the first story to be told in first person, but if you keep it in first person, then you can't really tell the animals' anecdotes. One suggestion to keep the first person narrative is to have each animal tell Rudo their story, otherwise I'd say maybe it would be better to change the first story to third person to keep consistency.
    Regardless, you've done a great job and I can't wait to read the conclusion!

    - Cate Howell

  24. Hello!

    I really enjoyed reading your stories again for a second time! The images you use are so pretty. I like how you incorporated animals into Rudo’s story. Her being able to talk to animals seems really cool I’m glad that they’re trying to help her out but I’m really curious to see how they will do this. Either by taking her to Mwami or helping her with her sons relationship. I really liked the story about the rabbit and the wizard. I thought it was really funny how the rabbit tried so hard to get the snake to the wizard just for the wizard to tell him that he only proved his cleverness and does not need the wizard to make him more clever. Hopefully this rabbits cleverness with help Rudo find her way. Great job!

  25. Hello!

    It was great to read your project again! I think this makes the third time and each time it gets better! I really liked how the story ended. I was not expecting the animals to be the villagers from mother's hometown. One thing that I was curious about is if the curse that the wizard placed on the village was responsible for wiping the memory of the village from everyone's mind? And if it was, then how was Mother unaffected by this? Also, did the villagers, in their animal form, also forget that they were human? They were really surprised when mother could talk to them, but as soon as they saw that she could I would imagine that they would explain to her that they were cursed? I guess if they hadn't forgotten then we wouldn't have gotten the chance to read about the animals stories. Anyway, I like how all the parts of the story fit together. I really liked the images you used as well. This was a wonderful story, great job!

  26. Hi Karissa,
    I want to start off by saying that I loved each and every one of your stories! I think you went to great lengths to make them quite creative. I also loved each of the titles. They happened to be the first thing I noticed when I opened your storybook. I like how they have a connecting theme throughout the stories! After reading one story I was thrown into another story taken from another perspective! This is one of the only storybooks I have read with a flowing theme throughout, one continuous story. My favorite story was probably “The Displaced Mother”. I enjoyed this story the most because it set up for the stories to follow as well as set the scene for what to expect from your writing. I truly felt for the main character. I was saddened to read that she was taken in but not really welcomed by her son and his wife. I felt even worse when she was told to leave. The entire time I’m thinking wow….Did he really just tell his mom to leave. Overall great stories! I loved the emotional connection your stories build with the reader.


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