Tag Archives: African Children’s Book

Akuko Baibulu Nso Maka Umuntakiri/Umuaka

Title: Akuko Baibulu Nso Maka Umuntakiri/Umuaka

Author: Ezinwanne Christiana Az’fredrick Mbanu (PhD)

Publisher:  Supreme Publishers

Number of pages: 226

Type of Book: Non-fiction, Christian, Middle Grade, African.

Age: 8+

Buy it here: https://www.facebook.com/AkukoBaibulUmuaka/

Price: N2,500

MY SUMMARY

This a delightful book of bible stories for children 8 years above. It has a good mix of old testament and new testament stories (from David and Esther to Saints Peter and Paul) as well as memory verses and short prayers that children can take on easily. The best part, it’s ALL IN IGBO!!  Perfect for bedtime stories, it can also be read to younger children.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I’ve never seen a book like this in Igbo. There are a thousand and one English bible study books for kids but an Igbo one, this was definitely a first for me! I absolutely loved the memory verses! The text is lyrical (if you are a fan of Igbo language, you’ll love this) (I am a HUGE fan so this was a joy to read). There is a good blend of popular and not-so-popular bible stories. This is perfect for bible club teachers and parents who want to teach their little angels to love God in our mother tongue. The icing on the cake, it comes with a CD! I’ll leave you to guess what’s on it!!  

DOWN: There were a few grammatical errors and the layout wasn’t exactly visually appealing but the content more than makes up for the errors.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Play the CD.

CHALLENGE: Akuko Baibulu Nso Maka Umuntakiri/Umuaka

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Tell your favourite bible story using ONLY 10 pictures and 10 memory verses.  

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 28th 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan

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NB: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

Title: Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

Author: Venessa Scholtz

Publisher:  Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 24

Type of Book: Picture Book, African, African Folktales.

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://farafinabooks.com/book?b=2074; @thebookwormcafeng on Instagram.

Price: N1,000

MY SUMMARY

In this book by the 2016 Golden Baobab picture book award-winner Venessa Scholtz, the reader embarks on a journey with young Dada Ade who doesn’t like her kinky, curly, crimped, wild and unruly hair. Wanting to exchange her hair for something better, Dada Ade sets out to find the Good Hair Fairy. On her way, she meets several animals who offer her their ‘hair’: the furry cat, the feathered duck, the scaly chameleon. But the best part of the story comes when Dada Ade finally meets the Good Hair Fairy. Read the story to find out the grand surprise at the end.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Told in a manner reminiscent of the folktales I heard as a child, this made me smile. My boys and I loved it. The text is lyrical and makes for a great read-aloud. The story is fun and educational; readers learn about different types of animal body coverings/hair. Alaba Onajin again provides vibrant illustrations which make an already good book even better. The icing on the cake is the surprise at the end of the book plus the lesson.  

DOWN: None

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Learn about hair, fur, feathers and scales here: https://mothernatured.com/animal-exploration/fur-feather-and-scales-a-cover-up/

CHALLENGE: Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw and colour 4 creatures, 1 of which must have hair, feather, fur or scales.

4 – 6 year olds

  • Make a list of 15 animals, 5 of which must have fur, scales or feathers.

7 – 8 year olds

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 31st 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

HOLES by Louis Sachar

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The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

Title: The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

Author: Sope Martins

Publisher:  Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 28

Type of Book: Fiction, African, Folktale

Genre: Picture Book

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://farafinabooks.com/book?b=2029

Price: N1,000.

MY SUMMARY

Afuwe nearly gets eaten by an owl on his birthday!!! Naturally, he’s terrified and decides he doesn’t like being small. So when Tortoise gives him a magical birthday present which grants 5 wishes, his ultimate wish is to be the greatest animal in the jungle so he can be all powerful.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It’s funny and action packed, 2 of my favourite ingredients in any book. Afuwe is such a lovable character and he is so relatable. Sope Martins is great with words and imagery. Afuwe’s fear when the owl chases him is so palpable. With a few words, Martins draws readers in, sucking us into Afuwe’s world so that we sweat with Afuwe in the beginning, and laugh with him at the end and she does this with less than 1000 words!

My kids love it!! B3 tries to read it every night. We laughed and laughed at Afuwe antics and I am sad because I really cannot share the joy this book gave us without putting up lots and lots of spoilers. Take it from us, this is a GREAT BOOK to give as a Christmas present!!

DOWN:  None

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

CHALLENGE: The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. The greatest animal in the jungle is the …
  2. Give 5 reasons for your answer.  

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 6th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

IDIA OF THE BENIN KINGDOM by Ekiuwa Aire

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The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

Title: The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

Author: O. T Begho

Publisher:  Evolution Media

Number of pages: 120

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, African

Genre: Chapter Book

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Obi-Titi-Queen-Idias/dp/0955496640

Price: $9.99

MY SUMMARY

This book is the fourth in a chapter book series about Ancient Africa. In this book, Obi and Titi must warn Queen Kehinde that she is in imminent danger but their plans are continuously thwarted by assassins. With the help of a masked rider who turns out to be a young girl named Idia (named after Queen Idia) and her mask which helps her see a few minutes into the future, Obi and the Titi must overcome the tyrant Ezomo and a giant man-eating spider to get to the Queen.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I struggled to find the highlights of this book because I was a bit offended by the disservice to Queen Idia. It was well-written and easy to read. It had some humourous bits and it does give a bit of insight into life in Ancient Yoruba land. It has all the makings of a good adventure series and would have been much better if it had left the African part out of it, rather than giving ambiguous information. It features a mini vocabulary list and another list of African facts.

DOWN: I struggled to get to the end of this book because I don’t know how to abandon a book halfway. I had bought this with the hope of adding to my research library on Queen Idia but I was sorely disappointed. First of all, Queen Idia was mentioned in about 8 out of 120 pages and the mask was a piece of wood with magical powers. I also feel like the facts were mixed up. Young readers will not be able to tell which bits of the story were fiction and which were nonfiction and the academic in me found that really stressful. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing but I guess I was particularly annoyed because I have a great deal of respect for Queen Idia and what the pendant mask represents and this book just basically trampled all over her. Matters came to a head when I found grammatical errors.

RATING

⭐️ ⭐️

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Obi-Titi-Queen-Idias/dp/0955496640 (use the Look Inside function)

CHALLENGE: The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 500-word essay on Queen Idia and the pendant mask.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8 – 12 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 29th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

THE GREATEST ANIMAL IN THE JUNGLE by Sope Martins

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Beasts Made of Night

Title: Beasts Made of Night

Author: Tochi Onyebuchi

Publisher:  Razorbill

Number of pages: 295

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, fantasy

Genre: Young Adult

Age: 13+

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Made-Night-Tochi-Onyebuchi/dp/0448493918/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.99

MY SUMMARY

Taj is the most talented aki in Kos, the best sin-eater in a town where sins are murderous beasts – inisisa – that make sinners sick until they’re drawn out from their bodies by mages and eaten by akis, where sin beasts leave tattoos on the bodies of the aki and drive them to madness before they get to adulthood, where the aki are treated as outcasts in spite of the fact that people depend on them to live, where even the royals depend on the aki they despise to maintain the premium placed on purity. When Taj eats the King’s sin, he becomes involved in a sinister plot that changes his life and threatens to destroy all he holds dear.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book is a masterpiece. It packs a mean punch with adventure, magic, humour, tragedy, light romance, great pacing, world building and imagery, the use of sensory language, the use of Igbo 😀 , a pseudo Nigerian setting, all in one story. It is YA fantasy at its best. Compared to most books in the same genre, it is short and sweet. I got it because it came highly recommended as mentor text for a novel I’m working on. I love it because it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it surpassed expectations.

Tochi is gifted with writing amazing scenes. This gift is pronounced in the action scenes in the book. He uses sensory language and amazing pacing to create scenes which suck you in and make you feel like they’re unfolding right before your eyes. I cannot rave fully about this book without giving spoilers. Spoiler alert: The arashi’s appearance was nothing short of MAGNIFICENT! I had goosebumps! I put the book down, shouted, picked it up and continued reading. 😀

Then the ending, oh my God, the ending!!! It ended with a cliff hanger. He got me!

Finally, the absolute best part of all of this: There’s more to come! Crown of Thunder, the sequel is available online.  

Here’s a paragraph where we’re introduced to our very first sin-beast:

I don’t even hear the doors close behind me, because the sin-beast rears up and roars in my face. I stare up at a massive lion, one of the biggest I’ve seen. The inisisa is formed of shadows so dark that it seems to suck all the light out of the room, even taking the glow from the daga in my hand. Its claws, inky tendrils of black, click against the floor tiles as it settles back on its enormous haunches. Sin made into living, breathing flesh by dark magic.

DOWN: It had a bit of the sagging middle syndrome. There was a brief lull in the story somewhere in the middle (or should I say the beginning of the middle😀 where I found myself struggling to avoid skipping whole paragraphs. I eventually understood why that section was necessary but it was much slower than the other sections of the book.

RATING

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/545186/beasts-made-of-night-by-tochi-onyebuchi/9780448493916/excerpt

CHALLENGE: Beasts Made of Night 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read the excerpt using the link above, then read the excerpt of Children of Blood and Bone in this post and compare the literary devices used by both writers.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 13+ 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 22nd 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

THE ADVENTURES OF OBI AND TITI: QUEEN IDIA’S MASK by O. T Begho

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Too Small Tola

Title: Too Small Tola


Author: Atinuke

Publisher: Walker Books

Number of pages: 96

Type of Book: Fiction; African; Contemporary

Age: 7+

Available here: @thebookwormcafebookstore on Instagram; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Small-Tola-Atinuke/dp/1406388912/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=too+small+tola&qid=1602613660&sr=8-1

Price: N2000; GBP 5.29

MY SUMMARY
This is a book of 3 stories which feature tiny Tola who lives in the slums of Lagos with her grandmother and siblings. In all 3 stories, where she battles with power outage, lack of water, helping Abdul the tailor and going shopping at the famous Mile 12 Market, Tola shows her family and friends that even though she’s small, she’s mighty.


THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: I absolutely absolutely loved the illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. They were the major highlight. Vibrant and apt, they complemented the story perfectly and brought the characters to life. They would have been even more wonderful if they were coloured.

The stories were delightful. I loved the fact they give readers a sneak peak into life in Lagos, especially, the hustle and bustle of daily life. I loved the reference to kerosene lanterns, battling with electricity, fetching water with jerry cans and of course, the famous Mile12 Market. I particularly liked the bit about Tola’s Grandma’s earrings which were left to her by her own grandmother (Tola’s great great grandmother). It made me smile.

One line that made me laugh was the description of one of Tola’s neighbours: ‘ … as tough as stockfish.’ 😀

DOWN: The stories were a bit flat, in the sense that they lacked ‘engaging’ conflict. Basically, the book is quite ‘putdownable’ and may not win the fight against TVs and tablets.

In a few places, the book reads like it was written by a non-Nigerian. Phrases like ‘Okada taxi’ irked me.

RATING
🌟 🌟 🌟

CHALLENGE: TOO SMALL TOLA
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Describe your street using all your five senses. (7 – 9 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 7 – 9 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, October 18th 2020.


Next Book of the Week:

THE GOOD EGG by Jory John

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Sulwe

Title: Sulwe 

Author: Lupita Nyong’o Illustrator: Vashti Harrison

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction; African, Magical Realism, Folktale 

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://rhbooks.com.ng/product/sulwe-by-lupita-nyongo-and-vashti-harrison/https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365

Price: N4000; $11.78

MY SUMMARY

Little Sulwe’s skin is as dark as midnight. She is the darkest member of her family and the darkest child in school. This makes her very sad. Slew desperately wants to be bright and beautiful like her sister Mich, whose skin is the colour of high noon. She wants to be light-skinned so she’ll be loved and accepted and make new friends.

So, Sulwe tries to lighten her skin. She eats bright foods, tries to rub her skin off, and even applies her mum’s makeup but nothing works. Poor Sulwe stays sad until one night, she goes on a magical journey that shows her that she’s beautiful, just the way she is. 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP:The art. I am a lover of Vashti Harrison’s art and as usual, she outdid herself. She brought Sulwe to life with vibrant illustrations. 

I love the story-within-a-story structure. The folktale within the story adds a magical element to the story and makes it even more entertaining.

I like that there are so many teaching opportunities in this story. My kids and I had a whole discussion about the way God answers prayers; because they wanted to know why God didn’t answer Sulwe’s prayer.  

I love the premise of the story. In Lupita’s words, “Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children.” I love that Sulwe’s story deals with the universal human need to be loved and accepted while staying true to one’s self in a very child-friendly manner. 

It’s a heartwarming story, it builds confidence and it’s quite entertaining. I loved every bit of it, my boys loved it too. We’ve read it countless times and we highly recommend it. 

DOWN: None.

RATING

* * * * *

TRIVIA

  1. Sulwe is Academy Award-Winning Actress, Lupita Nyongo’s, debut children’s book. 
  2. Like Sulwe, Lupita was teased and taunted in school because of her dark skin. 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365  (Click on the look inside feature on the amazon website)
  2. Download some fun exercises here: https://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/tagged_assets/5367491/9781534425361_cg_sulwe%20curriculum%20guide.pdf

CHALLENGE: Sulwe

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Read the excerpt and answer the questions below:

  1. List 4 things Sulwe did to become light-skinned (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. Write a 100-word essay. Topic: What does real beauty mean to you? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

3. Sulwe wants to be light-skinned, so that she can make friends like her light-skinned sister. If Sulwe were your sister, what advice would you give her? (7 – 8 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

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, October 4th2020.

Next Book of the Week:

TOO SMALL TOLA by Atinuke

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Meet the Author: Victoria Afe Inegbedion

IG Live with Victoria Inegbedion

Today from 7pm – 8pm , I will have a conversation with debut author Victoria Afe Inegbedion on IGLive!!

Her brand spanking new book for preteen and teen girls “A-Files” published by Narrative Landscape Press just hit the book stands!!

Here’s the author’s blurb:

Some sisters share everything from familial genes to favourite jeans. But. Some. Don’t. And Nita Isime has something to say about that. Read A-Files to find out what that is.

We’ll talk about A-Files, hear her read from it and answer all your questions!

Nip over to @thebookmarketng on Instagram for the conversation. See you there!

A-Files Book Cover

 

Book review coming soon …

ÀNÍKÉ ELÉKO

anike_eleko

Title:   Àníké Eléko 

Author: Sandra Joubeaud, Illustrated by Àlàbá Ònájìn

Publisher: Farafina Tuuti      

Year of Publication: 2017

Number of pages:  122        

Type of Book: Fiction; Graphic novel

Age: 8 and up

Available here: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/anike_eleko/17283 ; https://rhbooks.com.ng/product/anike-eleko/ ; Terrakulture Victoria Island, Lagos ;

https://www.jumia.com.ng/farafina-anike-eleko-8664178.html ;

https://www.konga.com/aonike-eleko-3751571

 Price: N1000; N1200; N1300; N1400; N1500

MY SUMMARY

Àníké wants to be a medical doctor but Iya and Aunt Remi have other plans for her, after all, in Aunt Remi’s words, “It is better for a woman to master a craft and find a good husband.”

So when Àníké decides to write the scholarship exam for a chance to pursue her dreams, she finds she has to study extra hard to get her Arithmetic right but Iya and Aunt Remi saddle her with making Aunt Remi’s wedding dress, as if selling ẹ̀kọ every morning before going to school and helping Iya at the market after school aren’t enough work already!

Read the book to find out how Àníké fared with ‘The Scholarship’.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: THE ILLUSTRATIONS were hands down the best part of the book for me. I loved them! Rich and colourful, they totally immerse the reader in Àníké’s world. They were so good that I felt like I could have ‘read’ the book just by looking at them. Ònájìn’s work really gives meaning to the line: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’

Comics are NOT my thing, so this book was a pleasant surprise!

DOWN: Àníké was rude to her mother more than once. Hands-on-the-waist-talking-with-exclamation-marks rude! She also deceived her mother and aunt, all in a bid to study for the Scholarship exam. This behaviour went unpunished, making it look like the end always justifies the means.

One of my favorite characters didn’t make it to the cover: Àríyọ̀ the Cobbler.

RATING

4 stars

TRIVIA

Some conversation starters for your kids

  1. “It is better for a woman to master a craft and find a good husband”
  2. “School is more important for boys”
  3. Àníké had to wake really early in the morning to sell ẹ̀kọ before going to school but Banjo her brother didn’t. Is that fair?
  4. Other themes explored in the book besides Courage: Bullying, Friendship.

VISIT ÀNÍKÉ HERE : https://www.facebook.com/anikeeleko/

CHALLENGE: ÀNÍKÉ ELÉKO

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Oge wants to be a Movie star, Ìlérí wants to be a Policewoman, Àníké wants to be a Doctor

Write a 300-word essay on any of the following lines:

“What I want to be”

or

“School is more important for boys”

OR

  1. Recreate the picture below

13782014_1621283454868722_7652309809832249381_n

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 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 Saturday, April 14th 2018.

Next Book of the Week:

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by SAM MCBRATNEY

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photo credit: kachifo.com and Àníké’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anikeeleko/

 

Sleep Well, Siba and Saba

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Title: Sleep well, Siba and Saba

Author: Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl (illustrated by Sandra Van Doorn)

Publisher: Lantana Publishing

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age3- 8

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Well-Nansubuga-Nagadya-Isdahl/dp/1911373099/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1518566520&sr=8-1 ; https://www.lantanapublishing.com/shop/books/sleep-well-siba-saba/

Price: $12.75; 7.99GBP

MY SUMMARY

In this heart-warming story, Ugandan sisters Siba and Saba lose things (anything you can imagine, slippers, umbrellas, sweaters, sandals, cats!) during the day and find them in their dreams at night! One day, or rather one night, their dreams take an interesting turn … * read the book*

Dream and wake with Siba and Saba to enjoy the sights and sounds of Uganda.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It gives readers a sneak peek into life in Uganda, from the markets and the beaches to the plants and animals, to the rich culture and a little bit of Lugandan (the language). Readers will go on a safari with the sisters, see and learn about the hustle and bustle of city of Kampala, the sandy beaches at Ssese islands, etc.

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a video here:
  2. Read an excerpt here: https://www.lantanapublishing.com/shop/books/sleep-well-siba-saba/

 CHALLENGE: Sleep well, Siba and Saba

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Study the picture below, then …

Sleep-Well-Siba-and-Saba-promo-2-e1490285466133

  1. Find Siba and Saba (3 – 5 year olds)
  2. Find three things in the picture in the crossword puzzle below (6 – 8 year olds)
Z D C Y H N M K D G J B X
V N O H G O N D S R M N O
K B A R E D B E E G E A N
H B G R A Y W T D L U E N
I W B U S E A K R R E I T
O D S J A B A G N R I U S
O C N K W E T E G I D B A
L X S S A E L P R U P L F

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 3 – 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 Friday, February 23rd 2018.

Next Book of the Week:

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak

 

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photo credit: lantanapublishing.com