Tag Archives: Nigeria

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Title: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Author: Ryan T Higgins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://www.amazon.com/We-Dont-Eat-Our-Classmates/dp/1368003559/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=We+Do+Not+Eat+Our+Classmates&qid=1600365413&sr=8-1

Price: $14.50 (Hardcover)

MY SUMMARY

In this absolutely hilarious story, a T-rex, Penelope, discovers on her first day of school that her classmates (all children) are really tasty. Mrs. Noodleman and Daddy tell Penelope over and over again not to eat her classmates but they are delicious and she just cannot resist. Well, one day, Penelope learns the hard way that being a snack is not fun … *read the book* 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour. This book made me laugh and laugh. It also emphasizes the golden rule in the funniest way possible and it’s a funny reminder that experience really is the best teacher.  

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

CHALLENGE: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1.     Find the names of three characters in the book in the crossword puzzle below (6 – 8 year olds)

ZDPYHNMKDGWBX
VNWESWILLIAMO
KBAANDBELGEAN
HBGRLEWLDLUEN
IWBUSTLKRREIT
ODSJABEONRIUS
OCNKWETRPIDBA
LXSSAELPREPLF
2. Write a different ending for the story. 50 words only.

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 12:00 am on Friday, September 23rd2020.

#Nigerian residents only

Next Book of the Week:

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

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photo credit: amazon.com

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 12L pt 5

Continued from here

Ada’s eyes came open slowly, widening with every second until her eyebrows almost touched her forehead.

The waterfall stood before her in all its glory.

Seven rivers of rushing foamy water gushing towards the cliff and plunging many meters into the pool below with a thunderous roar. The first four and the last drops had gleaming white water while the fifth and sixth had water adorned with shining yellow streaks as if they had been kissed by the sun.

They could barely see the pool as the water pounded the rocks at the bottom creating moving clouds of water which seemed to fight against themselves before tumbling into a river which flowed a channel into the forest. A thick fog rose the foot of the waterfall almost all the way to the top making it impossible to see the bottom of the waterfall and the pool.

Ada took a step closer to the cliff and she felt the cold spray from the mist and the cold wind that seemed to push her aback, keeping her away from the cliff..

“It’s wonderful!!!!” she shouted trying to be heard over the deafening roar of the water

Zigi smiled and held up his camera.

Ada quickly threw her arms in the air and wore her brightest smile. This picture was especially for Iphie and the girls.

Zigi took her and dragged her away from the waterfall.

“We have a thousand and one things to see and do and almost no time left. We have to go!!?”

Fun facts about Agbokim

It’s located 3.5 hours by road from calabar

Swim in the bowl in the dry season and you may catch some fish.

The cave palace, mostly closed during the rainy season as a result of the water, houses the spiritual prince and princess of the area.

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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A Fun ABC

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Title: A FUN ABC

Author: Sade Fadipe

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; Rhyme

Age: 0 – 4; 4 -5

Available here: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/products/a-fun-abc; https://www.amazon.com/Fun-ABC-Sade-Fadipe/dp/1911115154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480565078&sr=8-1&keywords=a+fun+abc+sade+fadipe

Price: N1,000; $4:93

MY SUMMARY

This book tells the story of a little girl Adanah who visits her grandfather in the village while on break from school. Adanah drives through the country side with her dad, buying fruits and taking pictures of the sights: drummers, dancers, cattle and cattle rearers. At her granddad’s she fetches water at the pump, plays in the rain, makes crowns out of hay and listens to stories by Auntie Sumbo. This ABC book is one with a difference. Written for the Nigerian child or the child who wishes to learn about Nigeria, it uses a great story, vibrant illustrations, rhyme and visual puzzles to introduce the letters of the alphabet. This is the best ABC book – African and otherwise – I’ve read ever and I’ve read my fair share of ABC books and reviewed a few too. See here and here.  Read the book to learn about the alphabets as well as Adanah’s holiday adventure.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This ABC book has so many highlights.

  • It reinforces letter identification by showing lots of objects starting with the same letter on each page. For example, the first page, introducing the letter ‘A’ has Aero plane, Apple, Avocado, a map of Africa.
  • It uses familiar objects which are seen and/or used by little Nigerian children every day!
  • Adanah also takes part in activities which the average Nigerian children is familiar with such as sweeping, fetching water, playing in the rain, sleeping under a mosquito net, and listening to stories told by an older aunt or uncle or grandparent.
  • It uses a story – and a good one too- to teach the alphabets. It’s not just another ABC book filled with disconnected words and objects.
  • Shedrach Ayalomeh’s illustrations brought the words in the book to life. They are vibrant, spread generously across the book and children will find them delightful. Adults will love them too. They reminded me so much of my childhood.
  • Another highlight was the use of rhyme.

I love love love this book and I recommend for Nigerian babies, toddlers and little kids as well as lovers of Nigeria.

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Sade Fadipe is a primary school teacher! It’s little wonder the book is such a treat!!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Try to find all the objects starting with the same letter. Letter B has over 10 objects: Basket, Bucket, Broom, Ball, Bed, Balloon, Blanket, Bear, Bracelets, Bulb, Blocks, Books!

CHALLENGE: A FUN ABC

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. How many objects starting with the letter ‘H’ are featured on page 8 of the book. (2 -3 year olds)
  2. Identify and name three objects starting with the letter ‘H’, featured on page 8 of the book. (4 – 5 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 5 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, December 7th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

HANSEL AND GRETEL by The Brothers Grimm

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Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

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Title: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

Author: Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Number of pages: 128

Type of Book: Non-Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-mary-pope-osborne/1119054505?ean=9780385386357; http://www.randomhousekids.com/books/detail/236086-magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-china-land-of-the-emperors-great-wall?isbn=9780385386357

Price: $5.99

MY SUMMARY

This book is the 31st in the Magic Tree House series, an adventure series that takes siblings, Jack and Annie on exciting journeys through time to discover the wonders of the world. Read my review of the first book in this series, Dinosaurs Before Dark here. This book is the non-fiction companion to Magic Tree House #14: Day of the Dragon King. In #14, siblings Jack and Annie visit China during the reign of the Dragon King. This book provides background information to #14. It offers a wealth of information on Chinese history. Readers learn that the Dragon King, Qin Shihuandi united all the states/cities in China and became its first Emperor. He had a burial ground the size of a small city. He was buried with 8,000 terra cotta soldiers to guard his tomb, war chariots, terra cotta horses and lots of weapons (swords, spears and cross bars). Readers also learn how the Chinese invented paper and silk (and refused to share the secret of silk production for about 2,000 years!) This book also introduces readers to the great Chinese Dynasties, philosophers, festivals and the Chinese Language. Does your child know that Mandarin, the official language in China, (and not English) is the most widely spoken language in the world?

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Everything!! This book could easily have been titled, ‘All You Need to Know About China for Kids’. I loved absolutely everything about it. It’s a valuable resource/ reference tool on all things China for kids (adults too!) with all sorts of information ranging from Chinese festivals (New Year, Moon, Kite, Dragon Boat, etc.) to delicacies (rice, frog legs, chicken feet, etc.) and inventions (paper, silk, tea bag, porcelain, compass).

It’s filled with fun facts, photographs and illustrations. It also provides pronunciation guides for some Chinese words e.g. Xie Xie (SHE – ah SHE – ah) meaning ‘Thank You’. The book also has some pointers on how to conduct research in libraries, museums and using books and the internet! I cannot say how much I love this series. I HIGHLY recommend this book for boys and girls between the age of 7 and 12. The Magic Tree House series has sold more than 100 million books world wide! A testament to its value.

DOWN: None!!!!! 

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. What percentage of the world’s population lives in China? 20%.
  2. Chinese rulers and Egyptian Pharaohs have this in common? They are buried with things they would need for the afterlife such as weapons, food, clothes, jewelry, etc.
  3. China is about the size of ……? The USA!
  4. This has formed a basic part of the Chinese diet for thousands of years: Rice
  5. The most famous Chinese Philosopher?
  6. Fast facts about the Great Wall of China: The first wall was built by the first Emperor of China. It took 12 years to complete and it was 1,500 miles long. 400,000 men died while building this wall. It was also called ‘The Cemetery Wall’. The Great Wall was built in the 16th Century and it is 5,500 miles long.

Visit Jack and Annie here: www.magictreehouse.com

Look inside: http://insight.randomhouse.com/widget/v2/?width=600&isbn=9780385386357&author=OSBORNE%2C%20MARY%20POPE&title=China%3A%20Land%20of%20the%20Emperor%26%2339%3Bs%20Great%20Wall

CHALLENGE: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on any of the following: a. Chinese Terra-cotta Soldiers, b. The Great Wall of China, c. The Chinese New Year (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 1000-word essay on any of the following: a. Confucius, b. The Himalayas, c. The Dragon King (10-12 year olds)

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, June 26th 2016.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post.

Xie Xie

 

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As You Like It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: AS YOU LIKE IT (found in Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare)

Author: William Shakespeare/Charles and Mary Lamb

Publisher: Dover Publications/Penguin Classics

Number of pages: 96/304

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction, Play

Age: 8+

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/You-Like-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486404323?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0; https://www.laternabooks.com/laterna_product_details.php?v=17883&c=111; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://shakespeare.mit.edu/asyoulikeit/full.html

Price: $3.00; N1500

MY SUMMARY

A rich Athenian dies, leaving behind two sons, Oliver and Orlando. Oliver inherits the father’s wealth, maltreats his younger brother and eventually tries to kill him in a wrestling match. Orlando wins the match much to Oliver’s chagrin, and he catches the eye of Rosalind, a local maiden. The two immediately fall in love. However, Orlando discovers that Oliver plans to burn him and his house and escapes to the Forest of Arden where he meets Duke Senior.

Duke Senior, Rosalind’s father having lost his lands and title to his sneaky younger brother Frederick has been living in exile in the forest of Arden. His daughter, Rosalind however lives with the wicked brother and his daughter Celia who incidentally is Rosalind’s best friend.

One day, Duke Frederick decides that Rosalind has become a threat to his daughter, so he throws her out of his court. Rosalind and Celia take to the Forest of Arden as well (it really seems to be a place of refuge for everyone). Rosalind disguises as a young man, Ganymede, to ward of thieves and the likes while Celia disguises as his sister. There they eventually meet Orlando and Duke Senior. Ganymede becomes Orlando’s friend and teaches him how to woo the love of his life (herself in disguise) while trying to ward off the advances of a lady in the same forest. Read the book to find out the drama that unfolds!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Shakespeare had a thing for romantic comedies and this is one of them. With a heartwarming love story and some funny characters, it’s the perfect holiday read for the little bookworm who loves Shakespeare. Like other plays of this nature there are at least three couples/weddings at the end of the play. Guaranteed to make you smile, laugh and marvel at human nature. I recommend for all the members of the family.

DOWN: None

RATING

4.5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. What Oliver does as soon as their father dies? He stops paying for Orlando’s education, treats him like a servant and eventually tries to kill him.
  2. What Oliver does after his second plan to kill Orlando fails? He decides to try a third time so he follows Orlando to the forest of Arden with the intent to kill him there.
  3. Rosalind discovers this to be one of the major consequences of wearing a disguise: A local shepherdess Phoebe falls in love with her believing her to a boy!
  4. Why did Duke Frederick eject Rosalind from his court? Because he felt she was getting more popular than his daughter Celia
  5. Who is Ganymede? Rosalind, dressed as a boy.
  6. How does Ganymede help Orlando? He teaches him how to be a good suitor/husband to Rosalind, i.e. how to woo her.

Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

Read the book here; http://shakespeare.mit.edu/asyoulikeit/full.html

CHALLENGE: As You Like It

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Imagine waking up and realizing that you were lost as a child and you’re really a Prince/Princess, then write a short 600-word story describing life as a prince/princess

OR

  1. Write a 100-word short poem about jealousy.

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, June 6th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

 

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The 2015 Nigeria LNG Prize For Literature

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It was a dark day for Children’s literature in October 2015 when the Nigeria LNG issued a press release stating that there will be no winner for this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature because all the entries were not worthy of the prize.

The Nigeria LNG prize for literature is one of Africa’s most prestigious literary prizes. Established in 2004, it awards a whopping $100,000 (over N25 million) to one Nigerian writer every year. The prize rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.

This year, 2015, was to be dedicated to children’s literature. Unfortunately, none of the 109 entries submitted for the prize scaled through, in fact, 89 of the 109 entries did not meet the preliminary requirements. According to the spokesperson for Nigeria LNG, entries were required to be creative works with aesthetic and social values for children.

However, he further stated that the prize money would be devoted to conducting a workshop on writing for children; a workshop designed to increase the overall quality of children’s literature in Nigeria.

The creative writing workshop took place from the 9th to the 11th of December at Eko Hotel, Lagos. The workshop participants were the applicants whose entries made it past the first stage of the screening process for the prize. They spent three days and nights at Eko Hotel under the tutelage of Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, Professor of English Language, Dr. Helen Limon, award-winning writer and teacher of Writing for Children at Newcastle University and National Center for Children’s Books, UK and Professor Kim Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature of the Newcastle University, UK and past President of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature.

Proceedings of the workshop will be collated and published for the benefit of those who were unable to attend.

It was a huge step in the right direction.. So we thank the NLNG for making this possible and hope that they make this an annual occurrence.

Hopefully, in 2019, there will be so many good entries that the judges will have a tough time deciding on a winner.

No School for Eze

no school for eze-800x800

Title: No School 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/no-school-eze

Price: N300

MY SUMMARY

What would you say to your (hale and hearty) child if he woke up one day and began to cry, “Mummy, I don’t want to go to school today, let me stay at home with you.”

Most mums would give the child a good talking-to, some would ignore him, and others would laugh. My mum would give you a stern look and you’d rid yourself of the idea as quickly as you got it. I would probably do the same to my child and kiss my teeth in a very long and drawn out manner for good measure.

Not Eze’s mother. In this book, she let him stay at home with her. I was gobsmacked. My first thought was, ‘What kind of mother is this?’ but a few pages into the book, I was laughing my head off.

After spending the day with his mum, Eze realized he’d rather go to school than stay at home. In fact, on the last page, he shouted, “I hate staying at home, I like school better.”

Read the book to find out how Eze’s mother (in the funniest and most positive way) cured Eze of his dislike for school and his love for staying at home!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book is the second book in the ‘Eze’ series. The Eze series feature the little boy Eze, who rarely ever wants to do what is expected of him or what his parents want. He is the run-of-the-mill troublesome child with aesthetic rather than functional ears. Buy the series to learn how his parents manage him.

The Eze series teach important lessons in discipline without being didactic.

This book is perfect for the little boy or girl who is just becoming an independent reader. It is also a good read aloud for toddlers.

DOWN: Critics have complained that Eze’s mum is not exactly role-model material, as she seems to do only household chores all day and expressly states that she wishes she could leave the chores and go to school.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Ask your child to count the number of chores Eze did in the book.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Team the reading experience with a chore-trial fete. Introduce your child to as many household chores as possible: washing plates, doing the laundry, cooking, sweeping and dusting, clearing the table, tidying his room, bed-making, etc., and help him decide which ones he can do everyday.

CHALLENGE: No School for Eze

CREATE (WRITE AND/OR DRAW)

  1. List five household chores that you can do. Make a collage of pictures of these chores.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 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, December 23rd2015. 

Next Book of the Week:

CLEVER SQUIRREL AND THE WEDDING COMPETITION by Yusuf .M. Adamu

 

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photo credit: spineandlabel.com

 

 

 

An African Night’s Entertainment

AN AFRICAN NIGHT'S ENTERTAINMENT

Title: An African Night’s Entertainment

Author: Cyprian Ekwensi

Publisher: African University Press

Number of pages: 152

Type of Book: Folktale, Fiction; African

Age: 10+

Available here: Borrow from ZODML Library, Ikoyi Lagos (http://zodml.org/eachbook.php?id=5061 ) or buy here: http://www.amazon.com/An-African-nights-entertainment-vengeance/dp/B0006CV54M

Price: $50.00

MY SUMMARY

It tells the story of two men on a quest; one to have a child at all costs and the other to get revenge on the man who wronged him. Mallam Shehu, determined to have a child after 35 years of marriage fails to heed the warning of the gods and using love potions, takes a new wife, Zainobe who finally bore a son for him. Abu, Zainobe’s fiancé from childhood, betrayed and angry decides to seek vengeance. He leaves home and travels for years in a bid to find someone to take revenge on Mallam Shehu for him. The book chronicles Abu’s travails in foreign lands and the suffering of Mallam Shehu and his family afterwards. Read it to find out how Mallam Shehu and Abu succeeded in their individual quests and the price they paid for their actions. Aptly described by the narrator as a tale of vengeance, adventure and love, it will keep you glued to the pages till the very end.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: It is reminiscent of the popular-in-the-90s NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) TV series, Tales by Moonlight. However in the book, an old man, who made a bet with his audience that they would fall asleep before the end of the story and he would keep their money, replaces ‘Aunty’!
It is well written and very easy to read. The book also featured sections on moral lessons, vocabulary building and comprehension exercises in every chapter as well as a 20-page glossary.

DOWN: None

RATING
4.5 Stars

TRIVIA
1. How did Mallam Shehu win Zainobe from Abu? He gave her a scent prepared by Mallam Sambo which made her fall in love with him.
2. Why did Abu embark on a perilous journey into the Kurmin Rukiki, forest of death? To get sap from a special tree with a gourd given to him by Tausayi, the man who helped him get his revenge.
3. How many parts of his body did Abu lose on his way to the forest of death? Two: his eye and his ear
4. Did both Mallam Shehu and Abu succeed in their quests? Yes. Mallam Shehu had a son, Kyauta, ‘meaning Allah be Thanked’ and Abu found someone to take revenge on Mallam Shehu.
5. What warning did the Gods give to Mallam Shehu? They warned that if he persisted in his quest for a child, he would have one but the boy would bring untold sorrow to him.
6. What warning did Tausayi give to Abu? He warned that there will be grievous consequences for their actions and that Abu would bear all the consequences.

Next Book of the Week:
TREASURE ISLAND by R L Stevenson

Zahrah the Windseeker

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Title: Zahrah the Windseeker

Author: Nnedi Okoroafor-Mbachu

Publisher: Farafina Books/ HMH Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 320/308

Type of Book: Fantasy, Fiction; African

Age: 10+

Available here: http://www.konga.com/farafina-zahrah-the-wind-seeker-1080068; http://www.amazon.com/Zahrah-Windseeker-Nnedi-Okorafor-Mbachu/dp/0547020287

Price: N500; $7.51

MY SUMMARY

Zahrah is a 13-year-old girl born with dadalocks in a kingdom where people with dadalocks are looked upon as strange. She is quiet, shy, constantly bullied and afraid of heights. All these change when one night, Zahrah finds herself floating off her bed. Her quest for knowledge eventually leads her and her best friend Dari, into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle where Dari is bitten by a war snake whose venom sends him into a coma. Only the serum from an unfertilized elgort egg can save Dari’s life. Zahrah has four weeks to enter the depths of the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to find and steal an unfertilized egg from an elgort, the fastest, most vicious animal in the Jungle.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Everything!! Again, Nnedi kept me up till 4am. I read this book some seven years ago and it made a huge impression on me!! It was a pleasure to read again! And I will definitely read it some more in the future! Nnedi Okoroafor’s imagination is out of this world. Her use of language is fantastic! Her story world is described in such detail that the reader is easily sucked into it! Zahrah the Windseeker is African Magical realism at its best!!! The plot, the characters were so well fleshed out but the highlight of the book for me: The Setting!!

The book is set in the Ooni Kingdom, a kingdom that is dominated by plants. The houses are made of plants, the towers and sky scrapers as well, the computers are plants, the currency of the day: flowers, even the medical equipment (heart monitors) are plants. Other highlights were the Dark Market (with the drawing baboons, live vultures, fortune-tellers, personal pepper seeds, dog-sized toads, etc.) and the Forbidden Greeny Jungle (with the flesh-eating plants, the Speculating Speckled Frog: a shiny pink frog with gold speckles and the ability to answer all questions, a human-sized scorpion with a poisoned whip for a tail, talking panthers, a two-headed green tortoise the size of a large car, thieving bush cows, etc.)

One of my best lines from the book: ‘Fear landed on my shoulder like a heavy bloodsucking masquerade’ Such imagery!

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

 TRIVIA

  1. Who were the Windseekers? They were dada-born people born with the ability to fly.  
  2. How did Zahrah escape the giant scorpion and its poisoned whip? The enormous car-sized, two-headed tortoise with eyes as big as dinner plates appeared out of nowhere, smashed the scorpion to death and feasted on its body!
  3. What are elgorts? Elgorts are described as the ultimate killing machines. With enormous trunks lined with sharp teeth and the ability to fell whole trees while in motion and eat their prey (even humans) in three crunches, they are the fastest and deadliest animals in the Forbidden Greeny Jungle.
  4. Why did people grow their own personal peppers? To become socially spicy: more attractive and more popular.
  5. The first man Zahrah met when she went to the Dark Market? A one-eyed man with cornrows, selling live vultures.
  6. “ … From the information you typed into me, you are a thirteen-year-old girl who seeks to find an unfertilized elgort egg for your friend? … Then you are truly mad” Who/What said this? Zahrah’s talking compass.

Read an excerpt here http://www.africanwriter.com/zahrah-the-windseeker-an-excerpt-from-the-nnedi-okorafor-novel/

CHALLENGE: Zahrah the Windseeker

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

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

OR

  1. Draw a picture of the Dark Market using the details in Chapter 4 of the Book.

OR

  1. Write a poem on ‘Bullying’.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 10-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book and a copy of ‘Akata Witch’ by the same author.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, November 17th 2015

Next Book of the Week:

THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells