Author: Yejide Kilanko
Publisher: Narrative Landscape Press; Ayoka Books
Number of pages: 35
Type of Book: Fiction; African
Age: 4 – 8
Available here: https://narrativelandscape.com/product/juba-and-the-fireball/ ; https://www.konga.com/product/juba-and-the-fireball-by-yejide-kilanko-5096161; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Juba-Fireball-Yejide-Kilanko/dp/1999292073
Price: N2000, N2000; 9GBP
‘Anger burns like fire. If you don’t control the flames, they will consume you.’
Juba has a terrible temper. He constantly gets in fights, breaks precious things and makes his mum sad. Will he learn to overcome his anger or will it consume him?
Juba and the Fireball is a warm and delightful tale about a little boy’s struggle with anger, personified as a fireball that lives in his stomach.
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: I absolutely loved the illustration of the fireball. I was thrilled to pieces by the stories Juba’s dad told him and the way he told them and the relationship between his parents. Kilanko has a way with emotions. Again, as she did with “There Is An Elephant In My Wardrobe”, Kilanko breaks down a difficult emotion that many children struggle with and proposes a successful and mindful way of dealing with it. She also helps parents understand what children go through when they are consumed by anger. Her dialogue is realistic. I found myself laughing on the first page at the exchange between Juba and his mother. They could have been my son and I. J
Juba’s father is one of the highlights of this book for me. One of my favourite lines from the book was his:
“When people give us the gift of their forgiveness,
we honour it with changed behaviour”
He reminds me very much of my grandfather. He is a sage and he doles out nuggets of wisdom through proverbs and stories. This book also features the story within a story structure and several poetic devices which make it lyrical. The alliterative ‘s’ sound is a common feature throughout the book. It is definitely a must-read for children. More and more books which discuss negative emotions and how to overcome them must be made for children. Kilanko does a great service to humanity with her books.
- Ask your child to tell you three things they can do to calm down when they are angry. Brainstorm some good ideas: reading, exercising, counting breaths, singing, etc.
HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK (kinda)
- Help your child cope with anger: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/children-and-young-adults/advice-for-parents/help-your-child-with-anger-issues/
CHALLENGE: Juba and the Fireball
CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)
- Write a short story about a time when you were ngry and how you overcame it. (100 words)
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Sunday, July 2nd 2021
Next Book of the Week:
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
photo credit: narrativelandscape press