Tag Archives: Picture Book

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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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

Sulwe

Title: Sulwe 

Author: Lupita Nyong’o Illustrator: Vashti Harrison

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction; African, Magical Realism, Folktale 

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://rhbooks.com.ng/product/sulwe-by-lupita-nyongo-and-vashti-harrison/https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365

Price: N4000; $11.78

MY SUMMARY

Little Sulwe’s skin is as dark as midnight. She is the darkest member of her family and the darkest child in school. This makes her very sad. Slew desperately wants to be bright and beautiful like her sister Mich, whose skin is the colour of high noon. She wants to be light-skinned so she’ll be loved and accepted and make new friends.

So, Sulwe tries to lighten her skin. She eats bright foods, tries to rub her skin off, and even applies her mum’s makeup but nothing works. Poor Sulwe stays sad until one night, she goes on a magical journey that shows her that she’s beautiful, just the way she is. 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP:The art. I am a lover of Vashti Harrison’s art and as usual, she outdid herself. She brought Sulwe to life with vibrant illustrations. 

I love the story-within-a-story structure. The folktale within the story adds a magical element to the story and makes it even more entertaining.

I like that there are so many teaching opportunities in this story. My kids and I had a whole discussion about the way God answers prayers; because they wanted to know why God didn’t answer Sulwe’s prayer.  

I love the premise of the story. In Lupita’s words, “Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children.” I love that Sulwe’s story deals with the universal human need to be loved and accepted while staying true to one’s self in a very child-friendly manner. 

It’s a heartwarming story, it builds confidence and it’s quite entertaining. I loved every bit of it, my boys loved it too. We’ve read it countless times and we highly recommend it. 

DOWN: None.

RATING

* * * * *

TRIVIA

  1. Sulwe is Academy Award-Winning Actress, Lupita Nyongo’s, debut children’s book. 
  2. Like Sulwe, Lupita was teased and taunted in school because of her dark skin. 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365  (Click on the look inside feature on the amazon website)
  2. Download some fun exercises here: https://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/tagged_assets/5367491/9781534425361_cg_sulwe%20curriculum%20guide.pdf

CHALLENGE: Sulwe

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Read the excerpt and answer the questions below:

  1. List 4 things Sulwe did to become light-skinned (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. Write a 100-word essay. Topic: What does real beauty mean to you? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

3. Sulwe wants to be light-skinned, so that she can make friends like her light-skinned sister. If Sulwe were your sister, what advice would you give her? (7 – 8 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, October 4th2020.

Next Book of the Week:

TOO SMALL TOLA by Atinuke

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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

Scholarship for the 2020 THE CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS course

Scholarship CBA illustration course

Calling on illustrators and aspiring illustrators of children’s books. Here’s a scholarship for the game-changing illustration course: THE CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS by the Children’s Book Academy and the amazing Mira Reisberg. 

Scholarship Criteria:

a. If you identify as being of color, or LBGQTI, or as having a disability, or are a member of a group who are currently underrepresented in the children’s publishing industry, you can apply.

b. Also, low income folks who might not be able to take this course otherwise, as well as  SCBWI Regional Advisors, ARAs, and Illustrator Coordinators and children’s librarians  can also apply.

Here’s all that you need to do:

1. Using your funniest or most lyrical language, say something lovely about yourself
2. Describe how you meet the scholarship criteria
3. Include your website if you have one, or email 3 images labeled with your name and “CBICB” in the subject line to mira@childrensbookacademy.com
4. Talk about how you are going to give back by helping your fellow students and the Academy by participating in the group and helping us spread the word about our offerings
5. State if you are agented or if you’ve been previously published

It’s open till August 4. Do not miss it!

For more information about the scholarship, click on the link below:

https://t.co/EqtKDWkJkS?amp=1

For more information about the course, see this post or click on this link:

https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2020-craft–business-of-illustrating-childrens-books.html

 

Making Picture Book Magic

making picture book magic

This month of July, I’m really thankful for this course: Making Picture Book Magic by Susanna Hill.

I can’t put into words how much it means to me.

The ideas I’ve gotten just from receiving the daily lessons in my mail: Out. Of. This. World. 💫💥

The feedback from Susanna is really helpful, encouraging and quick.

The course fee is pocket-friendly @ $139 only for a month.

Try it out.

Thank me later.

For more info, visit:

https://susannahill.com/for-writers/making-picture-book-magic/
It’s definitely the best thing I did for my #picturebook writing career this month.

What steps have you taken towards achieving your career goals?

Course Alert: The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books 2020

cba illustration courseimage

 

Are you an illustrator or an aspiring illustrator? Are you looking for a professional course taught by industry giants? Are you looking for a network of illustrators? Do you want to learn in a professional and warm environment? Do you want the chance to show your work to agents/editors? Then this course is for you.

Run by the very kind and fabulous Editor/Art Director, Mira Reisberg of the Children’s Book Academy, with Illustrator Larissa Marantz and Art Director Andrea Miller, it is the opportunity of a lifetime!

I’m currently taking my second course with the Academy (the Middle Grade Mastery)! I highly recommend it!!

It starts August 3.

Besides all the wonderful things you’ll learn from this course, plus the chance to meet other illustrators and get new critique partners, there’s the almighty Golden Ticket: A chance to pitch to agents, editors and art directors!!!!!!

Click on this link for more information:

https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2020-craft–business-of-illustrating-childrens-books.html

Try it, thank me later.

Dad Goes To School

dadgoestoschool-Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.46.38 PM

Title: Dad Goes to School

Author: Mandy Collins

Publisher: Mango Books, an imprint of Quramo Publishing

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://quramo.com/content/dad-goes-school-0 ; Terra Kulture, 1376 Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island Lagos.

Price: N1000; N1200

MY SUMMARY

Nandi wanted Dad to stay in school with her so she wailed and wailed and wailed until Dad promised to go to school with her for a whole day. The very next day, he did just that. But things didn’t quite turn out the way Nandi hoped…

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book was shortlisted for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, one of the best prizes for African Kid’s Lit! Perfect for every child with a love for early morning tantrums, it reminds me of the line, ‘Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it!’

DOWN: None.

RATING

4 Stars

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

Watch the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB2cV0Dkp1s 

CHALLENGE: Dad Goes to School

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw Nandi and Dad in Nandi’s class (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. List 2 characters in the book? (7 – 8 year olds)

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 N C H D O N D S A M N O
K S A R I D I E A I D A E
H J O N T D W D O M H I N
I D T H D O L A R O E I T
O D S J A I S K T N S U S
O C N K I L T E E O D N A
L X S D 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 Friday, February 9th 2018.

Next Book of the Week:

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

 

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photo credit: quramo.com

 

 

 

 

Mayowa and the Masquerades

mayowa_small

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

MY SUMMARY

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!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

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

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  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.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  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

CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)

  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

 

 

 

 

 

Handa’s Surprise

Title: Handa’s Surprise

Author: Eileen Browne

Publisher: Farafina/Walker Books

Number of pages: 32 (24 of the actual story)

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 3 – 6

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/handas-surprise; http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handas-Surprise-Walker-Paperbacks-Eileen/dp/0744536340

Price: N350; GBP 5.99

MY SUMMARY

‘Handa put seven delicious fruits in a basket for her friend, Akeyo. She will be surprised, thought Handa as she set off for Akeyo’s village.’

However, as Handa walked to Akeyo’s village, seven animals stole all seven fruits from Handa’s basket without her knowledge! Read the book to find out how both Handa and Akeyo were surprised when Handa arrived at Akeyo’s village with a basket full of fruits!!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It is a fun way for children to learn a little bit about Kenya. It gives an insight into the life of people of the Luo tribe of South-West Kenya. Its vibrant illustrations show fruits and animals common to this part of Kenya. With a few exceptions, these fruits and animals also make up the flora and fauna of Nigeria.

I especially like the fact that this book can be read to toddlers (1-3), while early independent readers (4-6 year olds) can read it on their own.

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA 

  1. Ask your child to spot 5 animals that pop up in the illustrations but aren’t mentioned in the book. 

(a.) cows (b.) lizards (c.) a snake (d.) chickens (e.) a dog

  1. Ask your child to spot 4 insects that pop up in the illustrations but aren’t mentioned in the book.

(a.) bugs. (b.) flies. (c.) butterflies. (d.) grasshoppers. NB: Spiders are not insects

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a video of the Handa’s Surprise song here:
  1. Team the reading experience with a fruit-tasting fete AND/OR making animal sounds

CHALLENGE: Handa’s Surprise

CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)

  1. List 10 animals commonly found in Nigeria 

OR

  1. Draw 10 insects commonly found in Nigeria

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 Thursday, November 26th 2015

Next Book of the Week:

CHICKEN IN THE KITCHEN by Nnedi Okoroafor