Tag Archives: Mayowa and the Masquerades

30 Tips for Writing Delightful Children’s Books Day 3


Let’s talk about genres. Children’s books have been divided into so many genres and categories that it is so hard to keep up. But here are the major ones.

NB: This post features children’s books by Nigerian authors.


Picture Books

Heavily illustrated; ages 3 – 8; 100 – 1000 words

Greatest Animal in the Jungle by Sope Martins

Juba and the Fireball by Yejide Kilanko

Mayowa and the Masquerades by Lola Shoneyin

Early Chapter Books

Illustrated; ages 4/5 – 8; 1000 – 3000 words

Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Feyi Fay and the Mysterious Madam Koi Koi by Simisayo Brownstone

Chapter books

Few Illustrations; ages 6 – 9; 5000 – 20,000 words

Mafoya and the Finish Line by Ayo Oyeku

No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke

Middle Grade:

Rarely illustrated; ages 8 – 12; 25,000 – 50,000

A-Files by Victoria Afe Inegbedion

Akata Witch/What Sunny Saw in the Flames by Nnedi Okoroafor

Mirror on the Wall by Jesutofunmi Fekoya

Young Adult

Almost never illustrated; ages 13+ ; 40,000 – 100,000 words

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Other genres:

Concept Books

Diary of a Toddler by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi

A Fun ABC by Sade Fadipe


Mouth Almighty by Salihah Agbaje

Graphic Novels

Anike Eleko by Sandra Joubeaud and Alaba Onajin


1897: Okiojo’s Chronicles Series


My Nigeria, Peoples, Places and Culture by Constance Omawumi Kola-Lawal

Social Justice Books

Eno’s Story by Ayodele Olofintuade

The Red Transistor Radio by Fatima Akilu



Ginika’s Adventures by Nnenna Ochiche

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


Illesanmi Twins Series. Book #1 Mystery at Ebenezer Lodge by Dunni Olatunde

Half Hour Hara Series. Book #1 The Case of the Broken Eggs by Ugo Anidi

Science Fiction

Zahra the Windseeker by Nnedi Okoroafor


Folktales are Forever by Efe Farinre


Idia of the Benin kingdom by Ekiuwa Aire

Please note: This list is by no means exhaustive!

  1. Action: Get a library subscription

Try Bookworm Café. This outfit specializes only in children’s books and its Director is a children’s literature connoisseur.

Try ZODML, Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries too!


Be like me, buy every single book on this list … AND MORE 😊

2. Read.

Read 2 to 3 books in each genre to determine which one appeals to you😊

Then when you find your niche, read as many books as possible in that genre. Good luck!

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*post on nonfiction coming soon

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Mayowa and the Masquerades


Title: Mayowa and the Masquerades

Author: Lola Shoneyin

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 4 – 8

Available here: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/collections/childrens-books/products/mayowa-and-the-masquerades

Price: N750


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


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

DOWN: None


4 Stars


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


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

READ AN EXCERPT HERE: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0103/7312/files/Excerpt_for_website_Pages_from_Mayowa.pdf?3619

CHALLENGE: Mayowa and the Masquerades


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

Send your answers to 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 Wednesday, December 16th 2015

Next Book of the Week:

NO SCHOOL FOR EZE by Ifeoma Okoye

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photo credit: cassava republic.biz