Title: Chicken in The Kitchen
Author: Nnedi Okoroafor
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
Number of pages: 32
Type of Book: Fiction; African
Age: 2 – 8
Available here: http://www.lantanapublishing.com/books/chicken-in-the-kitchen/
Price: GBP 6.99 (book) GBP 4.99 (epub/e-book)
‘What would you do if you woke up one night to find the shadow of a giant chicken passing your bedroom door?’
I would pull my wrapper/duvet over my head, squeeze my eyes shut and pretend I didn’t see it, so it would go away. But unlike me, Anyaugo’s a courageous little girl. She got up to investigate!
And she did find a giant chicken in the kitchen making a huge mess! Anyaugo had to save all the yam dishes her mum and auntie had prepared for the New Yam Festival from the angry chicken but she needed help! Enter her friend the wood wit! With his help, she discovered out that the giant chicken in the kitchen had a sunny, shiny smile, could dance and was much more than just a smiling dancing chicken. Read the book to find out how Anyaugo saved the dishes from the chicken, danced with it and saw it the following day at the New Yam Festival!
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: It is beautifully illustrated. The illustrations bring Nnedi’s words to life!! I was thrilled to pieces by the illustration on the penultimate page because it reminded me so much of home, of watching masquerades perform and looking at throngs of excited spectators walk the streets during festive periods, from the safety of my grandparent’s balcony.
This book makes learning fun for kids by showing a lot about the Nigerian culture through the eyes of a curious and courageous little girl and a giant dancing chicken. Kids will learn about the New Yam Festival, masquerades, spirits and yam dishes common to the Igbos of Southern Nigeria.
Another highlight was the wood wit. I loved it. That guy was very silly. One of my favourite lines from the book was his: “Ask it … But ask it in Chickenese”
I recommend this book for kids with a thirst for African literature or even just a little bit of adventure in their lives.
- Ask your child to spot 1 animal that pops up in the illustrations but isn’t mentioned in the book.
a. a cat
- Ask your child to list four features of the New Yam Festival mentioned in the book.
a. masquerades. b. yam dishes c. spirits d. yams
HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK
- Find out the origin of this story here: http://nnedi.blogspot.com.ng/2015/08/origin-of-chicken.html
- Team the reading experience with a yam-tasting fete. Try (Introduce your child to) as many Nigerian yam dishes as possible: Yam porridge, fried yam, boiled yam, yamarita, pounded yam and soup and of course the signature yam dish for the New Yam Festival: Roasted yam with palm oil, dried fish and ugba/ukpaka (oil bean).
CHALLENGE: Chicken in the Kitchen
CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)
- List 3 yam dishes eaten by the Igbos of South-East, Nigeria. Make a collage of pictures of these dishes. (4 – 5 year olds)
- Draw (and name) 3 masquerades commonly found in Nigeria. Make a collage of pictures of these masquerades. (6 – 8 year olds)
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 2nd 2015
Next Book of the Week:
AFRO: THE GIRL WITH THE MAGICAL HAIR by Okechukwu Ofili
photo credit: lantanapublishing.com