Tag Archives: African

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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A Pre-School Alphabet Book and A Treasury of African Names

IMG_6039Title: A Pre-School Alphabet Book and A Treasury of African Names

Author: Noma Sodipo

Publisher: Swan Publishing

Number of pages: 63

Type of Book: African; Fiction; Educational

Age: 2 – 7

Available here: www.preschoolalphabetandafricannames.com; Swan Publishing: 7th floor, 27/29 King George V Road, Onikan, Lagos; TerraKulture: Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos

Price: N1500

MY SUMMARY

My first thought was “Not another ABC book”, but this is an ABC book with a difference. It features the expected – Ants, Balls, Cats, etc. – but it goes many steps further to include colourful illustrations; common plants, animals and food found in Africa; colours; a question on every page and a full glossary of African names with their pronunciation, origin and meaning. It’s the perfect ABC book for the African child!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I LOOOOOVVVEEEEE this book!!!!! (ESP because good quality African books for preschoolers are hard to find AND (Icing on the cake!!!) this one was written by a Nigerian!) This is easily one of the best books I have read this year and I have read it to my 2-year-old too! It is filled with vibrantly coloured illustrations and it features sights and sounds of 21st Century Africa. I recommend this book for kids aged 2 to 7 especially kids (African and non-African) who would like to learn about Africa. Parents can read this book to their toddlers and beginning readers can read it on their own.

DOWN: None!!!

RATING

5 Stars. If I could, I’d give this more than 5 stars.

TRIVIA

  1. Noma Sodipo, the author, also produces the television programme ‘Storytime with Auntie Noma’ which is aired in over thirty countries in the world! 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

CHALLENGE: A Pre-School Alphabet Book and A Treasury of African Names

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  • Draw and name 10 animals found in Nigeria using the first 10 letters of the alphabet?

e.g. A – Antelope, B – Bat, C – Chicken (these examples can not be submitted as answers (6-7 year olds)

OR

  • Draw and colour 4 (four) animals found in Nigerian homes (4-5 year olds)

OR

  • Identify and colour the dog (2-3 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 7 age range. The first two correct entries will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, April 19th 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle

 

 

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Adaeze the true Princess

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Title: Adaeze the True Princess

Author: Nnenna Ochiche

Publisher: Grace Springs Africa Publishers

Number of pages: 164

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: Laterna Books 13 Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; The Hub, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos;  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1523963271?keywords=adaeze&qid=1457472822&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Price: N1,000; N1,000;16.80 GBP

MY SUMMARY

Eight-year-old Adaeze was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. With a name that literally means ‘Daughter of a King’ she considered herself a princess and was treated as such by her parents. She had bad grades in school, stuffed herself with food till she became overweight and got everything she wanted WHEN she wanted, either by simply asking or throwing herself on the floor and screaming her head off. She was spoilt beyond belief.

Then one day, everything changed. Adaeze’s dad got into trouble with the law and skipped town, her mum became sick. All of a sudden, Adaeze had to leave her illustrious life in urban Lagos to move to almost remote, Aba to live with her strict, poorly dressed and almost impoverished aunt. Suddenly, she couldn’t eat pizza and ice cream at will, make intermittent phone calls, go shopping, watch TV and play computer games.

Read the book to find out how Adaeze fared in Aba and how Aunty Felicia helped her become a true princess.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me (sooo much) of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”. It also reminded of my primary school days especially the Iburibu incident. Like Adaeze’s mother, the incident made me laugh till I cried. It brought memories of fighting in school. Humor! Adaeze was so badly behaved sometimes that the reader is shocked into laughter. Some of the tricks/antics Aunty Felicia employed to try to change Adaeze were downright funny.

Honestly, where the child hero of this book is Adaeze, the adult hero is Aunty Felicia. She was the highlight of the book for me. I recommend for older independent readers, boys and girls alike.

DOWN: It was a bit slow-paced and there were minor grammatical errors. It almost had a didactic tone, almost.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Adaeze’s reaction when she saw her cousin Jones riding her bike. She yelled at him, grabbed his shirt, pulled him off the bike, threw him on the floor and bit his ear!
  2. A typical day in Adaeze’s life? She would go to school, come home, eat lunch and wail to avoid doing her homework with her private tutor. Her mum would apologize, send the tutor away and try to pacify her with pizza and ice cream, then she would watch cartoons till 10pm. When her dad returned, he would bring chocolate and a bucket of fried chicken. She would eat as much as she could and then go to bed.
  3. What did Adaeze’s parents do whenever she failed in school? They blamed the teacher(s) and moved Adaeze to another school.
  4. “So many diseases just love a child with excess fat.” Who said this and why? Aunt Felicia. She was trying to get Adaeze to lose weight.
  5. Adaeze told this person everything? Isi, her equally spoilt best friend.
  6. Why did Adaeze get into a fight in church? Because a child told her she was fat. She called her Iburibu (literally: you are fat)

Visit Adaeze here:  https://www.facebook.com/Adaeze-the-True-Princess-906886066073899/  

CHALLENGE: Adaeze the True Princess

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. True princesses treat others with kindness. True or False? Write a 600-word essay on the most important qualities a prince/princess must have.

OR

  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Service to others OR Friendship

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 Sunday, March 14th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. FRANK BAUM

*A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review

Only Bread for Eze

EZE BREAD-curves

 

Title: Only Bread for Eze

Author: Ifeoma Okoye

Publisher: Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 16

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 2 – 6

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/only-bread-eze; http://www.amazon.com/Only-Bread-Eze-Ifeoma-Okoye/dp/9784801213

Price: N300; $3.58

MY SUMMARY

There was once a little boy, his name was Eze. He liked to eat only bread.”

In the Eze series, Eze, the protagonist is a little boy who wants what he wants when he wants it. At first, he didn’t want to go to school, read ‘No School for Eze’ to find out the sidesplitting way his mum took care of that problem and without the normal shouting and flogging that was the norm for the mums of my mum’s generation or the ‘ignoring’ and ‘naughty corner’ that is the norm for the mums of my generation. In this book, Eze’s father is the genius. Eze decides that he doesn’t like garri or anything else for that matter, he’d rather eat bread. Angry, Eze’s dad grants Eze’s wish. Read the book to find out how Eze’s dad cures him of his love for ‘only bread’.

This book brings reminds me of the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for ‘cos you just might get it’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! I had a good laugh. Darling Eze’s refusal to eat garri reminded me of my own childhood. I couldn’t understand the mums’ fixation with ‘daily lunchtime garri’ 🙂

The book teaches young children the importance of discipline without being didactic. It is very easy to read. Another highlight was the reference to typical Nigerian meals: rice and stew, beans and plantain, yam, gar and okro soup, etc. I recommend this book for beginning readers.

DOWN: Warning: Eze’s dad’s idea may not work at home (at least not in the same way), simply because, most kids, unlike Eze may not give up quickly. My son, for example, would have stuck it out for a full day at least. I wont explain in detail. Buy the book for your beginning reader or read it to your toddler *wink wink*

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Eze’s favourite food in the world. Bread!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Team the reading experience with a review of your child’s food choices.
  • Watch a video of the book reading here:

CHALLENGE: Only Bread for Eze

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

What do you like eating?

  1. Draw and name three things you like eating (5-6 year oldsOR
  1. Draw two things you like eating (4 year oldsOR
  2. Draw or name one thing you like eating. (2-3 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 6 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, March 2nd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen

 

 

Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London I

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Title: Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London I

Author: Segilola Salami

Publisher: Segilola Publishing

Number of pages: 64

Type of Book: Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Yetunde-Life-Times-Yoruba-London/dp/0993444601/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451339628&sr=8-1&keywords=yetunde+the+life+and+times+of+a+yoruba+girl+in+london

Price: $13.33

MY SUMMARY

This is a book of Nigerian folktales but it’s not just another book of folktales. These folktales are told by a 6-month old baby who gets them as bedtime stories from her mother. Yetunde is not the average 6-month old. She is a precocious 6-month old Yoruba baby living with her mummy in London and this book is her diary. Each chapter begins with a narration of a day in Yetunde’s life and ends with a folktale. Her unique perspective on daily adult activities is amusing and thought-provoking at the same time. The folktales are the icing on the cake. The book has five chapters with five stories each, some of which many moms will remember.

Read the book to find out how tortoise broke its shell, how it used a drum to create a feast for its village, how he tried to become the wisest animal in the world, etc.

Read it to take a trip down memory lane and give it to your child to read to learn a thing or two about Nigerian folktales and how they’re told. Of course, the chief protagonist in every Nigerian folktale (Tortoise) is present and in grand style too! A good read for every member of the family.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book made me smile. I remembered the first time I heard the story ‘How Tortoise broke its shell’ and how hard I laughed at the birds until they took their feathers from Tortoise. If you heard a lot of folktales as a child, you definitely heard this one. This folktale made the rounds.

The book also made me think of the fact that my kids really need to hear our Nigerian folktales. Sometimes, we’re so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to pass some of these wonderful things that were a natural part of our lives to our children.

The use of Yoruba was wonderful. This was one of the major highlights! I love reading books in indigenous Nigerian languages. We don’t have enough of those!!!!

Baby Yetunde’s diary sets this book apart from other folktales and gives it a certain quirkiness that I like.

For non-Nigerians, it shows a lot of the Nigerian culture, especially for modern day Nigerians. There’s a little bit on music, (reference to Lagbaja and Flavour), food (fried plantains and chicken stew), the folktales (of course) and the language. For Nigerians, we’ll see a lot of ourselves in the lives of Yetunde and her mum.

The illustrations though sparse were exquisite!!!

One of my favorite sentences: “Mama can go from a trendy professional Londoner to Iya Alata (a pepper seller) in 0 to 10 seconds. She’s hardcore like that.” The sentence before that was hilarious! I laughed until I cried.

DOWN: There were some minor downs. There was a bit of Nigerian English here and there, the use of a swear word and some other words that would likely make my kids ask me questions I may not want to answer. I believe it was a reference to a mother’s breasts going south, something I totally understood and found funny but will not be in a hurry to explain to a child. The text wasn’t justified so it made reading visually annoying for me. The addition of the Yoruba language was a plus and a minus. As much as I love the idea of writing in our native language, the inability to understand the language was a mini-downer for me as in some cases, there were whole blocks of text in Yoruba and no immediate translation. Fortunately, the translations were added in the last section of the book so the reader isn’t left hanging.

All in all, it was a good read. I would recommend to anyone who loves the idea of Nigerian folktales with a twist!

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Story 1: How did Tortoise outsmart the birds? By taking on a new name: All of You
  2. Story 2: Why did the scorpion sting the frog in spite of the fact that he knew that this would make them drown? Because it’s in his nature to sting.
  3. Story 3: Oluronbi made a promise she couldn’t keep. What was it? She promised to give the spirit that lived in the Iroko tree her first child.
  4. Story 4: Why did Tortoise want to be the wisest animal in the world? He wanted other animals to come to him for advice so he’d charge them and become very wealthy.
  5. Story 5: How did Tortoise become the chief in his town? He gave all the animals in the village food daily from his drum.

Watch the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCMv4wU5sHI

 

CHALLENGE: Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. What is a folktale? Write a short 400-word essay

OR

  1. Write a 400-word story in your native language.

OR

  1. Write a 400-word short essay on a theme that was common to all the stories: ‘Keeping your word’

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 Sunday, February 7th, 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

AGES 4 – 8: MAGIC TREEHOUSE: DINOSAURS BEFORE DARK by Mary Pope Osbourne

AGES 8 – 12:  LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May-Alcott

Beem Explores Africa

beem1

Title: Beem Explores Africa

Author: Simidele Dosekun

Publisher: Farafina

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 6 – 10

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/beem-explores-africa; http://www.amazon.com/Beem-Explores-Africa-Simidele-Dosekun/dp/9780799931/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=; http://www.konga.com/beem-explores-africa-1507357

Price: N500; $5.26; N500

MY SUMMARY

Beem, a young Nigerian girl, explores Africa in this beautifully illustrated and vibrantly coloured book about the continent: its flora and fauna, peoples and landscape. Replete with all sorts of fun facts about Africa such as its longest mountain range (the Atlas Mountain range) that goes across three countries and its longest river (River Nile) that runs across eleven countries, its largest and driest deserts, flesh and plant-eating animals, different tribes, etc., it a must read for all the members of the family. If your child is a lover of history or geography or if he/she suffers loves travelling, this is a good book for him/her. Have him/her read the book to join Beem on a journey to discover the wonders of the great continent that is Africa!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book could have been titled: Sights and Sounds of Africa for kids. It is a valuable reference tool for all kids. Readers learn a lot about the continent: its highest mountain, longest river, biggest desert, largest country and the history of some of these places.

I recommend this book for everyone, old and young alike. For the oldies (like me) it’ll serve as a ‘refresher course’ and for the youngies, a starting point. I recommend it specially for kids with a love for Africa and a thirst for Geography and History.

DOWN: None

RATING

4.5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Ask your child to list four items that can be found in an explorer’s bag. a. a camera b. a compass c. a map                     `d. binoculars
  1. Ask your child to list three herbivores, two omnivores and three carnivores mentioned in the book. AHerbivores: antelopes, buffalos, cows. B. Carnivores: snakes, lions, cheetahs C. Omnivores: gorillas, monkeys,

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Team the reading experience with a fact-finding fete. Try to answer some of the questions Beem asks in the book.
  • How are Pyramids built?
  • Why do waterfalls make a lot of noise when the water splashes?
  • Do you have ruins in your country?
  • What is the bottom of a river called?

CHALLENGE: Beem Explores Africa

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a short 400-word essay on either of the following: The Great Sphinx or the Egyptian Pyramids (8-10 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw (and name) five items commonly found in rucksacks carried by Explorers (6-7 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 6 – 10 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, February 3rd  2015.

Next Book of the Week:

YETUNDE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A YORUBA GIRL IN LONDON by Ms. Segilola Salami

 

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photo credit: amazon.com