Tag Archives: nigerian book review blog

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole In The Sky

Title: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky

Author: Kwame Mbalia

Publisher:  Rick Riordan Presents

Number of pages: 528

Type of Book: Middle Grade, African, African Folktales, African American, Mythology.

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Strong-Punches-Hole-Novel/dp/1368042414/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $ 8.99

MY SUMMARY

Seventh grader Tristan Strong is down in the dumps. He has just lost his best friend as well as his very first boxing match. His parents send him off to Alabama to spend a month with his grandparents to cool off. There, he literally punches a hole in the sky and falls through earth into another dimension and the adventure of a lifetime!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The world building, the setting and the characters particularly, the folktale heroes, Anansi!!!!, the 10” tall doll baby Gum Baby, the iron monsters, the haunted bone ships and the burning sea! I loved them! It’s an adventure story with some of my favourite Ms: magic and mythology. The specificity Mbalia uses to describe the setting is out of this world! The worldbuilding was extraordinary and I feel like this book is a good mentor text for writers on the subject of setting.

DOWN: A lot of description slowed the action down. Because life is what it is, the actual highlight of the novel was also its undoing. Oh my!!! The description was just too much. I feel like I was buried under a mountain of details. I have been trying to read this book for 8 weeks but I still haven’t made it halfway. It is unbelievably putdownable, in fact, 1 of 2 things happens each time I pick it up: I come up with something more interesting to do or I fall asleep. In summary, I still haven’t finished reading it but at this point, I honestly cannot. go. on. This will be the first time I am consciously abandoning a book halfway, I am sad and I really struggled to avoid this but …

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt (Chapter 1) here: https://www.readriordan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Tristan-Strong-Hole-in-Sky_pp1-33.pdf

CHALLENGE: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 300-word essay on any African God.

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 Friday, January 15th 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

DADA ADE AND THE GOOD HAIR FAIRY by Vennessa Scholtz

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*open to US residents only

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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The Good Egg

Title: The Good Egg

Author: Jory John; Illustrator: Pete Oswald

Publisher: HarperCollins

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Picture book, Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Egg-Jory-John/dp/B0817JDTLL/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.75

MY SUMMARY

This is a funny and insightful tale about the importance of self-care and taking things easy. The verrrrrry good egg likes for everything and everyone to be perfect. She (I liked to think of the egg as female, just because I am partial to female characters😀 ) is always ready to help anyone and everyone, she specifically says ‘… if you need any help whatsoever, I’m your egg.’ She also cleans up after her housemates who she describes as ‘not-good’ eggs because they ignore bedtime, throw tantrums, cry for no reason and eat sugary cereals (typical toddlers). Of course, she’s really exhausted every night and eventually, she starts cracking up, literally. Read the book to find out how the good egg deals with the problem of being ‘too good’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It tickled my funny bone, I loved it. The word play was hilarious: ‘Egg was cracking up’, ‘egg’s head felt scrambled’, names of the other eggs: Meg, Sheldon, Frank😀 The illustrations were particularly funny and charming. The eggs were really cute and expressive. I really loved the good egg’s huge round frames. I loved the page where the egg was sick and took IV fluids labelled ‘yolk’❤️ I think Pete Oswald did a fantastic job with the illustrations. In fact, the two, John and Oswald make a perfect match. They have worked together on several great books: The Couch Potato, The Bad Seed. (Check them out too)

I loved the universal themes of the book: It’s OK to not be perfect; we need to be as good to ourselves as we are to others; we need to take things easy and we need to take time off to cool off when things get too much.

Finally, I love that even though it’s a book for kids (a picture book) it really is wonderful for adults as well.

DOWN: None.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a read-aloud video here:

CHALLENGE: The Good Egg

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw an angry egg, a happy egg and a sad egg (4 – 6 year olds)
  • Find four things the good egg did to ‘relax’ in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)
ZDCYPAINTGJBX
VNOHGONDSAMNO
KSARESBENGEDN
HBGRAYWKBLUAN
IMEDITATIONET
ODSJAAGKNRSRS
OCNKLEWALKSNA
LXSBAELPGUPLF

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 Friday, October 25th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

QUEEN IDIA OF BENIN by 234 Express

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photo credit: amazon.com

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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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Title: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Number of pages: 64

Type of Book: Fiction, Classic, Play

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/a-midsummer-nights-dream-young-reading-series-2/; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midsummer-Nights-Dream-Usborne-readers/dp/0746063334/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464543391&sr=1-2&keywords=a+midsummer+nights+dream+usborne;  Free Download here: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

Price: N580; 4.99GBP

MY SUMMARY

This play has four interconnecting plots/stories.

  1. The Duke of Athens, Theseus is about to marry the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta whom he has just conquered in battle. He orders four days of festivities to celebrate his impending marriage.
  2. Hermia, daughter of Egeus, an Athenian, refuses to marry Demetrius (against her father’s wishes) because she loves Lysander. Egeus asks the Duke to sentence her to death, based on an ancient Athenian law that requires a daughter to marry a suitor approved by her father or face death. Meanwhile, Helena, Hermia’s friend loves Demetrius. So basically, Helena loves Demetrius who loves Hermia who loves Lysander (Yes, Shakespeare has a thing for love triangles, rectangles and all)
  3. Oberon, the King of Fairies wants to take his wife Titania’s ward as a page but Titania refuses. Angry, he puts a magic potion (juice from a flower) on her eyes to make her fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up. His plan: watch her fall in love with an animal in the forest and then shame her into giving him the young boy.
  4. A group of actors, the Mechanicals, is contracted to perform a play during the Duke’s wedding however, they do not know the first thing about acting so they retire to the forest to practice.

The play is set in the enchanted forest. After the Duke Theseus rules that Hermia must marry Demetrius, face death or become a nun, she decides to elope with Lysander and they find their way to the enchanted forest. Helena learns of this plan and tells Demetrius who gives chase. Helena in turn runs after Demetrius. Oberon spies Helena running after Demetrius and feeling pity for her decides to give Demetrius the magic juice from the flower to make him fall in love with Helena. He enlists the help of Puck a mischievous fairy who mistakenly puts the juice on Lysander’s eyes. Lysander wakes up to see Helena and promptly falls in love with her. An enraged Oberon attempts to correct Puck’s mistake, so the juice is administered on Demetrius who also falls in love with Helena. Of course chaos erupts as suddenly both men who entered the forest loving Hermia now love Helena. Meanwhile, the same mischievous Puck, turns the head of one of the Mechanicals, Bottom, into a donkey’s head causing his fellow actors to abandon him. Queen Titania, wakes up after the juice has been spread over her eyes and falls in love with Bottom. J

Read the story to find out how all fours stories/plots were resolved.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! Puck, the mischievous, was the major highlight. He made this book fun and made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Watch out especially for the part where Queen Titania wakes up and starts professing undying love to Bottom, the donkey-headed man! I loved this story a lot as a child (even though it took a while for me to GET it!) This book however, is much better than the one I read as a child. It is easy to read and not as long.

DOWN: It may be a tad confusing for 4-6 year olds because of the interconnecting plots plus the fact that the play seems to be riddled with characters.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. This play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read the story here (the original version): http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html
  2. Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

CHALLENGE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1. Read the information above, then answer the following questions (6-8 year olds)

  • This little person caused a lot of trouble in this story?
  • Is there a play-within-a play in this story?
  • Who is Oberon?

OR

2. Draw and colour a man with a donkey’s head (4-5 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, June 2nd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

MY NIGERIA: People, Places and Culture by Constance Omowumi Kola-Lawal

 

 

 

 

Wangari’s Trees of Peace

March 3rd is Wangari Maathai Day/Africa Environment Day.

Wangari Maathai was the first woman to earn a Doctorate degree in East Africa and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize but she’s best remembered as the woman who motivated Kenyan women to plant over 300 million trees in Kenya. Wangari’s Trees of Peace tells Wangari’s story in a simple way making it quite easy for children to read.

Africa Environment Day was established by the Organization for African Unity (OAU) to raise awareness about the environmental problems in Africa.

To commemorate this day, we have changed the book of the week to Wangari’s Trees of Peace. The Emperor’s New Clothes will be reviewed next week.

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Title: Wangari’s Trees of Peace

Author: Jeanette Winter

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Creative Non-Fiction; Contemporary, Series

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Wangaris-Trees-Peace-Story-Africa/dp/0152065458

Price: $15.07

MY SUMMARY

Wangari grew up near Mount Kenya. There were lots of trees and different types of birds to see everyday. She had the typical rural African childhood. She went to the farm, to plant and harvest sweet potatoes, maize, etc.; she fetched firewood for cooking, etc. Wanagari loved Kenya. But she had to leave because she got a scholarship to study in the United States.

When Wangari returned, many years later, there were no more trees in and around her home. She was worried that Kenya would become a dessert since people were cutting down trees without planting new ones.

Read the book to find out how Wangari saved Kenya from becoming a dessert and how she grew millions of trees in a few years.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It’s an inspiring story and will help children see that one person can make a difference in the world.

DOWN: It has a bit of violence: “They hit her with clubs” and this line is followed by an image of people hitting a lady with clubs and droplets of blood falling from her forehead.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  • Wangari used these to change the world around her. Trees! 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

Team the reading experience with a visit to http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/wangari-maathai to learn more about Wangari Maathai.

CHALLENGE: Wangari’s Trees of Peace

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  • Plant a seedling in a garden at home or in school this week. Write a short 300 word essay on the planting process and take a picture (7-8 year olds)

OR

  • Draw (and name) two trees you see everyday. (4-6 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 Wednesday, March 9th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen