Mayowa and the Masquerades


Title: Mayowa and the Masquerades

Author: Lola Shoneyin

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 4 – 8

Available here:

Price: N750


This book was a joint winner of the 2011 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Atiku Abubakar Prize for Children’s Literature so I had great expectations when I picked it up. I really liked it. It tells the story of Mayowa, a typical city boy looking forward to a leisurely day of playing computer games. His plans are shattered when his parents announce that they will visit his grandmother in the village. This is the very last thing Mayowa wants to do but he ends up in the village all the same. However here he meets the fun-loving cheerful Denuyi and together they explore Ilisan in ways that make Mayowa appreciate the beauty of rural life. Read the book to find out the things Mayowa discovered in Ilisan besides the colourful masquerades!


UP: Again, this week’s selection introduces in an entertaining manner some information about an indigenous culture through the eyes of a little boy. Supported by the vibrant illustrations of Francis Blake, Lola shows her readers a slice of Ilisan and Yoruba culture using traditional forms of greeting, masquerades, the bata talking drums as well as plants/fruits and animals/insects. It’s a fun read and every bit as educative as it is entertaining.

DOWN: None


4 Stars


  1. Ask your child to name one fruit mentioned in the book and two fruits that grow in your village.                      a. Yeye fruit
  1. Ask your child to list four features of any Nigerian Cultural Festival.


  1. Team the reading experience with a video clip of a Nigerian cultural festival or Take your child to any cultural festival near you.


CHALLENGE: Mayowa and the Masquerades


  1. Draw (and name) 5 masquerades commonly found in Nigeria. Make a collage of pictures of these masquerades.

Send your answers to

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Wednesday, December 16th 2015

Next Book of the Week:

NO SCHOOL FOR EZE by Ifeoma Okoye

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photo credit: cassava






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