Tag Archives: African

Idia of the Benin Kingdom

Title: Idia of the Benin Kingdom

Author: Ekiuwa Aire; Illustrator: Alina Shabelnyk

Publisher: Our Ancestories

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Picture book, Fiction with elements of Non-Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: ;  https://our-ancestories.com/product/idia-of-the-benin-kingdom-childrens-book/ ; https://www.amazon.com/Idia-Benin-Kingdom-Ekiuwa-Aire/dp/1777117925/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $17.99; $13.99

MY SUMMARY

Idia was an ordinary little girl who had an extraordinary dream about a brave female warrior with magical healing powers. Curious, she begged her father to teach her how to be a warrior and her mother to teach her the art of magic and medicine. Little did she know that she would become the brave warrior in her dream as well as the first Queen mother of the ancient Benin Kingdom. Read this story of perseverance and courage to learn about the history of one of Africa’s most illustrious queens.  

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I have read quite a bit on Queen Idia as I mentioned in an earlier post but I have never read a book about her childhood so I absolutely loved this one. The author used sprinkles of rhyme and repetition and lots of lyrical language to make this picture book a great read. Blending fact and fiction, she described the life – particularly the childhood – of Queen Idia with some detail and quite a bit of flair.  

One of my favourite paragraphs:

People buzzed with excitement in the center of the village. The Oba (King) was there. Hands slapped drums. Fires were started to cook the feast. Idia adjusted her beads and greeted all her friends.

The illustrations blew my mind. They are vibrant, detailed, apt, evocative and sublimely different from the norm, they truly gave life to the words and made the book shine!

I also loved the use of Edo words. The icing on the cake was the historical factsheet at the end of the book. I loved everything about this book and I would highly recommend it for lovers of Edo culture and their children. 😀

DOWN: None.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read it for free via Kindle Unlimited.
  2. Register with http://eepurl.com/g8iB-D to receive a free digital copy of the Idia of the Benin Kingdom coloring and book.
  3. Watch a video trailer here:
  1. For more information about the book, visit https://our-ancestories.com/product/idia-of-the-benin-kingdom-childrens-book/

CHALLENGE: Idia of the Benin Kingdom

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw a warrior queen (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. Find four words which can be used to describe Idia in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)
QUEENMOTHERDX
VNOHGONDSAMAO
KSARESBENGENN
HBGRAYWKBLUCN
IHEALERTIONET
ODSJAAGKNRSRS
OCNKLEWALKSNA
LXSWARRIORPLF

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 13th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY by Kwame Mbalia

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photo credit: amazon.com

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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The Red Transistor Radio

February is Millennium Development Goals Month

Title: The Red Transistor Radio

Author: Fatima Akilu

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; Educational

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/collections/childrens-books/products/the-red-transistor-radio

Price: N1200

MY SUMMARY

Khalida’s mummy had an old red transistor radio that she played ALL the time and Khalida was tired of hearing that radio. Finally, one day, she burst out,

“Mama … Why do you listen to this radio all day? It’s very annoying!”

Her aunty gave her the weirdest answer ever. “… that radio is special … it has made many things happen, including you, Khalida”

Khalida didn’t think much of her aunt’s response until she was given an assignment in school to write a story about something unusual that happened to her.

So Khalida asked her parents how the radio made her. Read the book to find out how the red transistor radio made Khalida and how its story made her famous!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It emphasizes the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health. It takes an important and very adult subject and breaks into tiny nuggets, making it easy for young readers to digest. It also does this in the most peculiar yet fun way, using the story of a radio. Young readers learn how to prevent maternal mortality and improve maternal health by making sure pregnant women frequent antenatal clinics, eat balanced diets and have their babies in hospitals.

DOWN: None.

RATING

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

TRIVIA

  1. The subject of this story is the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0103/7312/files/Excerpt_for_websitePages_from_Red_Transistor_01-32_tp.pdf?3624
  2. Learn more about the 7th Millennium Development Goal here: https://www.unicef.org/mdg/files/childfriendlymdgs_edited.pdf

 CHALLENGE: The Red Transistor Radio

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Read the story above and answer the questions below:

  1. Draw a girl in a Fulani outfit (4 – 6 year olds)
  1. List the Millennium Development Goals? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture showing 3 things pregnant women can do to prevent maternal mortality. (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 Thursday, February 16th 2017.

Next Book of the Week:

NGOZI COMES TO TOWN by Fatima Akilu

 

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photo credit: cassavarepublic.biz

 

 

 

Aliyyah Learns a New Dance

February is Millennium Development Goals Month

 

Aliyyah learns a new dance

 Title: Aliyyah Learns a New Dance

Author: Fatima Akilu

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; Educational

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/products/aliyyah-learns-a-new-dance

Price: N1200

MY SUMMARY

Aliyyah loved dancing and she was very good at it too. One day, she was chosen to represent Nigeria at an African dance competition in Tanzania. At the competition, she met and befriended dancers from different African countries especially Fanta, from Ghana. A month after winning the competition in Tanzania, Aliyyah was invited to represent Nigeria in another dance competition, this time in Sweden. Aliyyah, her family, her school, in fact the whole country were ecstatic. Her brother Ashraf started practicing new dance moves with her, the whole school suggested new dance moves, a national competition was even held to design her costume for the competition.

Shortly afterwards, she travelled to Sweden where she met young dancers from all over the world, Japan, China, India, Serbia. She learnt about their culture, e.g. the Japanese Kimono, the Indian Sari and she learnt new languages too (some words in Hindi and Cantonese).

Read the book to learn whether or not Aliyyah won the competition and all the things she learnt from her new friends. Other books in the MDG series by the same author are Ngozi comes to town and Preye and the sea of Plastic, see review here.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It emphasizes the Millennium Development Goal of developing global partnerships. It shows young readers that the world is a global village and we should learn as much as possible from and about our neighbours.

It also shows them that hard work pays, that anything worth doing is worth doing well and that they should strive for excellence in everything. Aliyyah is seen practicing a few times in the book and winning prizes afterwards. Most importantly, it shows young readers the advantages and the need for forging global partnerships. Aliyyah’s costume for the competition in Sweden was sewn by a tailor in Abeokuta, with a fabric made in a Chinese-owned factory in Calabar. This fabric was made from cotton grown in Nigeria whose seeds were sourced in the United States.

It ends with a beautiful line ‘Who thought I could learn so much through dance?”

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The subject of this story is the Millennium Development Goal of developing global partnerships.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0103/7312/files/Pages_from_Aliyyah_2011.2.pdf?3813
  2. Jigsaw puzzle here: http://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=2ac0249767c7
  3. Learn more about the 7th Millennium Development Goal here: https://www.unicef.org/mdg/files/childfriendlymdgs_edited.pdf

CHALLENGE: Aliyyah Learns a New Dance

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw a girl in a Fulani outfit (4 – 6 year olds)
  1. List the Millennium Development Goals? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

  1. Name the traditional clothing worn by women in the following countries
    1. India
    2. Japan
    3. China
    4. Scotland

Find them in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)

Z D C Y H N M K D G J B X
V G C H E O N G S A M N O
K S A R I D R E S I S A E
H J O H T D W E O M H I N
I F T H S O L A R O E I T
O F S J A V S K T N S U S
O C N K I L T E E O C N A
L X S B A N G L S A K L F

 

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 Thursday, February 9th 2017.

Next Book of the Week:

THE RED TRANSISTOR RADIO by Fatima Akilu

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photo credit: cassavarepublic.biz

 

Preye and the Sea of Plastic

 

Title: Preye and the Sea of Plastic

Author: Fatima Akilu

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; Educational

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/products/preye-and-the-sea-of-plastic

Price: N1200

MY SUMMARY

Preye is plagued by the plastic bags strewn all over his neighbourhood; on the playground, in the farms and markets, on the roads, everywhere. One day, he decides to take matters into his own hands and he starts an action group made up of kids! This group storms the District Head’s Office and then the local TV station to get adults to help their cause. Eventually, they make a film/documentary about the harmful effects of the use of plastic bags on the environment. This film makes the kids popular and soon enough, they are giving speeches in different towns and having meetings with the president! Better still, they convince market sellers to use paper bags and raffia baskets in place of plastic bags! Read the book to find out what Preye (maybe) plans to do next!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It shows kids that they can make a difference in the world, irrespective of their age. It shows also the advantages of team work (the kids in the action group had to split into 3 groups of 5 to conduct research, film and conduct interviews for their film (documentary)). Most importantly, it shows young readers the importance of keeping our environment safe and clean for man and animals and that they are just as responsible for it as the adults are!

DOWN: None. Well, I wish it showed kids simple practical ways to keep the environment clean e.g. by putting rubbish in bins instead of dumping them on the road, turning some to compost, etc. For kid friendly tips on saving the environment, read our next book of the week, “Help Your Parents Save the Planet”. Subscribe now and get it in your mail!

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The subject of this story is the Millennium Development Goal of Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0103/7312/files/Excerpt_for_website_Pages_from_Preye_2011.pdf?3621
  2. Learn more about the Millennium Development Goals here: https://www.unicef.org/mdg/files/childfriendlymdgs_edited.pdf

 

CHALLENGE: Preye and the Sea of Plastic

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Read the story above and answer the questions below:

  1. List 3 simple things you can do to keep your environment clean (4 – 6 year olds)
  1. List the Millennium Development Goals? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

  1. Do something to help your community and write a 100-word essay about it (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 Friday, February 3rd 2017.

Next Book of the Week:

AALIYAH LEARNS A NEW DANCE by Fatima Akilu

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photo credit: cassavarepublic.biz

 

The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt3

 

Continued from here

Ada opened her eyes slowly, trying to get used to the bright light in the room. She rubbed her head and swayed on her feet. The slide down the twisted tunnel made her head spin. It was worse than a roller coaster ride, she felt like she had been tossed around over and over again in a giant blender.

Slowly she made out the shape of a boy in front of her. “Who are you?”

He was about her height, he wore square glasses and he was completely bald, like a chicken without feathers! He just stared right back at her. She rubbed her head again and looked around.

“What is this place?”

It was much like the library upstairs, but the books were older, browner, bigger and the room was brighter, dustier, deserted.

The boy with no hair smiled. “This is the Room of Knowledge”

He took her hand pulling her towards the center of the room. “You wanted to learn about waterfalls right? Come, I’ll show you”

He stopped at a shelf labelled W and he pulled an old dusty brown book from the stack of books on one of the rows. “Come, help me”

Ada held one end of the book and together they pulled the large book off the shelf and onto the floor. The boy sat cross-legged in front of the book and tapped the space next to him. Ada looked at him and then the shelf and then the mouth of the tunnel.

“My name is Zigi. Break will be over in 30 minutes. If you want to see the waterfalls, sit down, we don’t have time”

She sat.

Zigi flipped the pages of the book. All of a sudden, sounds of thrashing water filled the room. Ada sat up and looked around but Zigi kept flipping the images.

“Can’t you hear that?”

“What?” He looked up and looked around, his large eyeballs turning in his face. They heard nothing. Ada was confused. He flipped another page. The sound came again, louder this time.

That!”

“Oh, that!” Zigi smiled and turned back to the book. He kept flipping pages until he got to the page he wanted. “Now look”

Ada jumped up “You heard it right? What’s happening?”

“Look!!!” Zigi shouted pointing at the book.

Then Ada looked at the book. There were pictures of huge waterfalls splayed across the pages.  Ada stared at the book, then at Zigi. The sounds seemed to be coming from the waterfalls in the book! She shook her head and took two steps back.

“Zigi. What’s that? What kind of book is that? What is this place? I want to go”

Zigi smiled and flipped the pages some more. More pictures of waterfalls came up and the volume of the sounds that filled the room, seemed to rise and fall depending on the size of the waterfalls on the pages. “These waterfalls are in Nigeria! There are so many and this book shows all of them. It tells you everything you need to know about all of them. But do you know the best part?” he stopped, looked at her and smiled harder. “It takes you to all of them”

“What do you mean?”

Ada took a step forward and stared at the strange book. The pages seemed to come alive. She stared at the waterfall closest to her. It was called Agbokim Waterfalls. It was beautiful she thought. She could hear the sounds from the waterfall. A gust of wind flung her plaits across her face.

“Touch it” Zigi said “Touch it”

Ada looked at him, then the book. Slowly, she walked towards Zigi, she knelt next to the book and touched the page. Suddenly a hole appeared where her finger had been and a violent gust of wind rose from its mouth and sucked her into the page!

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt2

 

Continued from here

It was the biggest library she had ever seen. Rows and rows of books from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. Just books! Small books, big ones, flat ones, thick ones, old ones, new ones, hardbacks, paperbacks! She had never seen so many books in one place at the same time. Her old school’s library was a small dark room with two white plastic tables, six white plastic chairs and twenty-three old books. Ada stood on a spot and spun, staring at all the books in the topmost shelf, her neck bent backwards so much that it looked like it would break. Then she looked down at the rest of the library. Where was her mystery writer, Z? She looked around. There were so many shelves, she didn’t know where to start from.

How can anyone find anyone in this place? she wondered. She looked at the note again. It didn’t say where she was supposed to meet Z. She started walking through the shelves, looking at the letter boxes at the top of each shelf.

“A .. B .. C .. D .. ”

Four shelves and four minutes later, no one walked up to her and no one had said anything to her. Ada looked at the note in her hand again. This time, she studied it wondering if she had missed something.

“Hmmm. Why are the 12 and L darker than the other letters?”

She looked up at the huge clock on the wall. It was 11:58 am. Just beneath the clock, there was a huge chart with the alphabets and numbers 1 -20. Suddenly, Ada’s eyes popped and she knew where she was supposed to meet Z.

She folded the note, pushed it into her pocket and hurried towards the center of the library. Just as she stopped in front of the shelf marked 12 L, a loud bang shook the library! Ada jumped and turned away from the shelf looking around. Everyone else seemed calm, like nothing happened. Then the bang came again and again and again.

Oh! It’s only the clock she thought. It’s 12 o’clock!

She heaved a sigh of relief and counted with the clock.

“ … 7.. 8.. 9.. 10.. 11.. 12 ..”

Then from no where, two hands came out of the shelf 12 L, covered her mouth and dragged her into the darkness!

 

 

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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