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Beem Explores Africa

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Title: Beem Explores Africa

Author: Simidele Dosekun

Publisher: Farafina

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 6 – 10

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/beem-explores-africa; http://www.amazon.com/Beem-Explores-Africa-Simidele-Dosekun/dp/9780799931/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=; http://www.konga.com/beem-explores-africa-1507357

Price: N500; $5.26; N500

MY SUMMARY

Beem, a young Nigerian girl, explores Africa in this beautifully illustrated and vibrantly coloured book about the continent: its flora and fauna, peoples and landscape. Replete with all sorts of fun facts about Africa such as its longest mountain range (the Atlas Mountain range) that goes across three countries and its longest river (River Nile) that runs across eleven countries, its largest and driest deserts, flesh and plant-eating animals, different tribes, etc., it a must read for all the members of the family. If your child is a lover of history or geography or if he/she suffers loves travelling, this is a good book for him/her. Have him/her read the book to join Beem on a journey to discover the wonders of the great continent that is Africa!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book could have been titled: Sights and Sounds of Africa for kids. It is a valuable reference tool for all kids. Readers learn a lot about the continent: its highest mountain, longest river, biggest desert, largest country and the history of some of these places.

I recommend this book for everyone, old and young alike. For the oldies (like me) it’ll serve as a ‘refresher course’ and for the youngies, a starting point. I recommend it specially for kids with a love for Africa and a thirst for Geography and History.

DOWN: None

RATING

4.5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Ask your child to list four items that can be found in an explorer’s bag. a. a camera b. a compass c. a map                     `d. binoculars
  1. Ask your child to list three herbivores, two omnivores and three carnivores mentioned in the book. AHerbivores: antelopes, buffalos, cows. B. Carnivores: snakes, lions, cheetahs C. Omnivores: gorillas, monkeys,

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Team the reading experience with a fact-finding fete. Try to answer some of the questions Beem asks in the book.
  • How are Pyramids built?
  • Why do waterfalls make a lot of noise when the water splashes?
  • Do you have ruins in your country?
  • What is the bottom of a river called?

CHALLENGE: Beem Explores Africa

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a short 400-word essay on either of the following: The Great Sphinx or the Egyptian Pyramids (8-10 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw (and name) five items commonly found in rucksacks carried by Explorers (6-7 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 6 – 10 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, February 3rd  2015.

Next Book of the Week:

YETUNDE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A YORUBA GIRL IN LONDON by Ms. Segilola Salami

 

 

 

 

 

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Author: C. S. Lewis

Publisher: Harper Collins

Number of pages: 768

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here: https://www.jumia.com.ng/jumia-dvds-the-chronicles-of-narnia-2919086.html; http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Narnia-C-S-Lewis/dp/0061969052/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453795173&sr=1-2&keywords=chronicles+of+narnia&refinements=p_n_feature_five_browse-bin%3A2579001011; https://b2dbuntu.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/thechroniclesofnarnia.pdf

Price: N2,040; $11.48; Free download

MY SUMMARY

Imagine you walked into a wardrobe filled with jackets, what would you most likely meet at the end of the wardrobe? A wooden or concrete wall in your face! This was not the case with the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. They walked through a wardrobe (The WARDROBE) of jackets into a fantasy world, Narnia, filled with talking animals (beavers, wolves, etc.), wish-granting White Stags, half-human, half-animal beings (fauns) and a beautiful but terribly wicked witch (The WITCH) that wanted to control that world for ever. It is up to the Pevensie children to save Narnia with the help of Aslan (The LION) and all the other ‘good’ Narnians.

The first of seven books in a series, it is guaranteed to keep you glued to every page until the last. A must read for all book worms, pint-sized and otherwise!

NB: There’s a great debate about the order in which the Narnian books should be read. I prefer the order of publication, just because; it is said that C.S. Lewis preferred the order in Narnia time. Who knows? Please feel free to read the books in any order, as long as you read them 🙂

The Order of Publication: 1) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 2) Prince Caspian, 3) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 4) The Silver Chair, 5) The Horse and His Boy, 6) The Magician’s Nephew, and 7) The Last Battle

or

The Order in Narnian Time: 1) The Magician’s Nephew, 2) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 3) The Horse and His Boy, 4) Prince Caspian, 4) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 6) The Silver Chair, and 7) The Last Battle

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I will say one thing for C. S. Lewis, he has a way with words!! He sucks you into his story world until you are so engrossed that the actual world around you melts away until you put his book down. His ability to engage the senses is epic! The description of the meal at the Beaver’s made me quite hungry. In a detailed and quirky manner reminiscent of Roald Dahl, he brings his characters to life with words that make you feel like you can see them through his eyes. See particularly his description of the White Witch and Mr. Tomnus the faun.

The book also explores the themes of good v. evil, friendship, courage and trust. Without being didactic, it shows readers the consequences of good and evil/bad actions.

DOWN: None

RATING

4.5 Stars 

TRIVIA

  1. Tumnus, the faun, thought Lucy was a …………….. from the faraway land of …………. ? Daughter of Eve; Spare Oom (really Spare room)
  2. The gifts given to the kids by Father Christmas? Peter: a silver shield and a sword with a gold hilt, a sheath and a sword belt; Susan: A bow, a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn; Lucy: a little bottle with a potion for healing wounds and a little dagger.
  3. The first creature Lucy met in Narnia? Tumnus, the faun. He was half man and half goat.
  4. Lucy was away in Narnia for hours having tea with Mr. Tumnus but when she got back to the old house through the wardrobe, she realized she had been gone for ………? Less than a minute
  5. Why did the wicked White Witch want the four kids? To kill them in order to prevent the Prophecy from coming to pass. The Prophecy: When two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit on the four thrones at Cair Paravel, that would be the end of the life and reign of the White Witch.
  6. The stone statues Edmund saw when he entered the White Witch’s Castle? They were creatures the wicked witch had turned to stone. There were satyrs, wolves, bears, foxes, female-like tree spirits, a centaur, a winged horse, a dragon, a giant and a faun which he thought might be Mr. Tumnus.

Read an excerpt here: https://www.narnia.com/us/books/ebook/the-lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe/9780061974151

Read the book here: https://b2dbuntu.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/thechroniclesofnarnia.pdf

News about the Narnia books here: https://www.narnia.com/us/news-extras/narnia-news

CHALLENGE: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Imagine you discovered a secret passage into another world. In 600 words, describe the world and the people in it.

OR

  1. Draw a picture of the Mr. Tumnus, the faun using the details below:

“He carried over his head an umbrella, white with snow. From the waist upwards he was like a man, but his legs were shaped like a goat’s (the hair on them was glossy black) and instead of feet he had goat’s hoofs. He also had a tail, but Lucy did not notice this at first because it was neatly caught up over the arm that held the umbrella so as to keep it from trailing in the snow. He had a red woolen muffler round his neck and his skin was rather reddish too. He had a strange, but pleasant little face with a short pointed beard and curly hair, and out of the hair there stuck two horns, one on each side of his forehead. One of his hands, as I have said, held the umbrella: in the other arm he carried several brown paper parcels.”

Excerpt from: C. S. Lewis. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”

OR

  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Courage OR Friendship

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, January 31st, 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

YETUNDE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A YORUBA GIRL IN LONDON by Ms. Segilola Salami

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Handa’s Hen

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Title: Handa’s Hen

Author: Eileen Browne

Publisher: Farafina

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Fiction; African

 Age: 0 – 6

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/handas-henhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Handas-Hen-Eileen-Browne/dp/074459815X/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1ZAADF5HVHX5BXE1BNCY

Price: N350; GBP 6.99

MY SUMMARY

‘Handa’s Grandma had one black hen. Her name was Mondi. Every morning, Handa gave Mondi her breakfast. One day, Mondi didn’t come for her food’

So, Handa and her friend Akeyo set off on a hunt for Mondi. Read the book to enjoy the journey with them, learn to count from 1 to 10, say hello to the animals they met on their way (jumpy crickets, baby bullfrogs, spoonbills, etc.) and to find Mondi and the surprise that awaited them at the end of the book.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It is beautifully illustrated. Like Handa’s Surprise, it is a fun way for children to learn a little bit about Kenya. The illustrations serve the dual purpose of showing readers some of the animals and insects commonly found in Kenya and teaching them how to count.

I remember my ‘learning how to count’ song, it was nothing like this 🙂

1,2 Buckle my shoes

3,4 Knock on the door

5,6 Pick up sticks

7,8 Lay them straight

9,10 A big fat hen

Again, like Handa’s Surprise, another highlight is that this book is a perfect read-aloud for toddlers, while early independent readers (4-6 year olds) can read it on their own.

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. a. Ask your child to spot 1 animal that pops up in the illustrations but isn’t mentioned in the book.

a dog

  1. b. Ask your child to spot 1 insect that pops up in the illustrations but isn’t mentioned in the book.

a lady bug/ a beetle

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a video of the Handa’s Hen song here:
  1. Team the reading experience with a game: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/handa-s-hen-and-surprise-dice-game-6042974

CHALLENGE: Handa’s Hen

CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)

  1. List 4 birds mentioned in the book and 6 birds commonly found in Nigeria

OR

  1. Create (Draw) a counting game using 10 animals 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 Wednesday, January 27th 2016

Next Book of the Week:

BEEM EXPLORES AFRICA by Simidele Dosekun

 

 

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Didi Kanu and the Singing Dwarfs of the North

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Title: Didi Kanu and the Singing Dwarfs of the North

Author: Jude Idada

Publisher: Creoternity Books

Number of pages: 252

Type of Book: Fantasy, Fiction; African

Age: 10+

Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Singing-Dwarfs-North-Adventures-Volume/dp/1508745900

Price: $10.99

MY SUMMARY

Didi was a dreamer. An 8-year-old girl born into a very poor family in Eastern Nigeria and the youngest of five children, she desperately wanted to go to school almost as much as she wanted to visit one of the places she had heard about in Ede’s stories: the mountainous lands of the North. Didi wanted to see the singing dwarfs. Her chance to achieve both dreams came when Uncle Ikenna came to the village from Lagos and took Didi back with him. However, bad luck, or was it fate, knocked on her door when one day, Uncle Ikenna had an accident, which sent him into a coma. Only a song by Mei Kalala, a singing dwarf of the North can save Uncle Ikenna’s life. Didi had a few days to journey to the mountainous lands of the North to find the singing dwarfs and learn the song. Read the book to follow Didi on her journey to the North and find out whether she passed Mei Kalala’s test and got back to Lagos in time to save Uncle Ikenna.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The major highlight of this book was its genre: African magical realism, a genre that isn’t very common in the world today. I would recommend for voracious readers, adult and child alike. This book is not for beginning readers or children who are just learning to love books.

DOWN: It was a bit too descriptive and rather slow-paced. It had quite a few grammatical errors that should have been picked up by a discerning eye.

RATING

3 Stars 

TRIVIA

  1. Who were the singing dwarfs of the North? They were bush babies that lived in the mountainous lands in the North.  
  2. Mei Kalala told Didi that this would happen to her if she told a lie after drinking of the Nectar of Unbreakable Oaths? She would turn into a Pillar of Ash on the Plains of Sorrows!
  3. Ede? The village storyteller. He told stories of times in the past when the village was ruled by magic.
  4. What were the ingots and grengots? They were half-humans that lived in banana trees and had tails for legs. Ingots made the bananas ripe, and protected them from the grengots who liked to eat them. The grengots could make people mad by jumping into their nostrils and living in their heads!
  5. Who was Big Aunty? Aunty Nonye’s stepmother.
  6. “ … it was something that looked like an elephant… had what looked like human arms. But they bulged with muscles so big that they looked like large tubers of yam stuck to the arm. In one arm, there was a big club with a humongous head from which jutted out sharp objects … it had what seemed like maggots falling out of it… there was pus coming out from other parts of it. There was hair over what looked like its chest and in that mass of hair, creatures that looked like mice scurried about. But these mice had extra-long snouts.’ The Keeper of Searcher’s Gates.

Read an excerpt here http://www.amazon.com/Singing-Dwarfs-North-Adventures-Volume/dp/1508745900

CHALLENGE: Didi Kanu and the Singing Dwarfs of the North

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. What is Magical Realism? Write a short 400-word essay. Give examples using books and movies.

OR

  1. Draw a picture of the ‘Big Aunty’ using the details below.

“Big Aunty’s arms were huge and her stomach bulged. Her neck was as thick as a tree trunk and her legs were like two pillars, the kind that held up the yam barns back in the village. Her chest kept rising and falling making her breasts look like two oversized pawpaws … Big Aunty’s breath came out like the puff of the blacksmith’s oven back in Obosi. She was like an elephant dressed in a green wrapper and green blouse. Her head was wrapped in a green head-tie. … she had Half Past Four eyes.”

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.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, January 24th 2016

Next Book of the Week:

CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis

 

 

 

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It’s a Boy! It’s a new pint-sized bookworm!

 

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A new pint-sized bookworm is here!!

 

Dear Pint-sized Bookworms (and their mummies, daddies, aunties, uncles and teachers),

I apologize for my absence this past week. This large-sized bookworm brought a squalling, brown-eyed, brown-skinned, button-nosed, 3.4kg, pint-sized bookworm into the world last week!!

Business as usual will resume next week: Tuesday January 19th, 2016.

Thank you for your understanding.

Happy New Year!!!!

*image by images

 

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Clever Squirrel and the Wedding Competition

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Title: Clever Squirrel and the Wedding Competition

Author: Yusuf .M. Adamu

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/clever-squirrel-and-the-wedding-competition

Price: N650

MY SUMMARY

Beautiful Gazelle and clever Squirrel were in love. However, Gazelle’s father wasn’t sure Squirrel was deserving of his daughter, so he decided to hold a wedding competition. Six suitors emerged to compete for Gazelle’s hand in marriage: rich Tortoise, handsome Zebra, talkative Parrot, strong Rhinoceros, vain Snake and, of course, clever Squirrel.

Gazelle’s father had a riddle for the suitors:

‘Where does the rainy season go during the dry season and where does the dry season go during the rainy season?’

Can you solve the riddle? Read the book to find out how clever Squirrel outsmarted all the other animals and won beautiful Gazelle’s hand in marriage!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The story is based on a popular Hausa folktale! This was a huge plus for me. It is also beautifully illustrated! Ok, I have a thing for illustrations! I’m a pretty visual person so the prints and the pictures in a book sometimes help me decide whether or not to buy it. The characters in this book were exquisitely dressed in Hausa outfits such as the kaftan, babbar riga, etc., as well as some simple yet lovely Ankara print outfits.

I admired the Rhino’s decision to try in spite of the very real possibility of being beaten. (You have to read the book to understand. *tongue in cheek*)

DOWN: Squirrel actually lied to the other animals to get ahead. Young readers must be made to understand that winning fair and square is much better than ‘outsmarting’ others.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Ask your child to spot 3 animals that pop up in the illustrations but aren’t mentioned in the book.                     a. a goat                             b. a rabbit                 c. a leopard
  1. Ask your child to list four features of the marriage ceremony in the book.                                                            a. music (drummers)      b. food and drinks     c. colourful traditional outfits d. decorations (flowers)

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Team the reading experience with a mini-competition of sorts. Teach your child the importance of fighting fair.

READ AN EXCERPT HERE: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0103/7312/files/Excerpt_for_website_Pages_from_Clever_SquirrelFinal_V3_1.pdf?3627

CHALLENGE: Clever Squirrel and the Wedding Competition

CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)

  1. List 5 traditional outfits worn by any tribe in Nigeria.

OR

  1. Draw the typical traditional marriage outfit worn by men and women in your village.

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, January 6th 2016

Next Book of the Week:

HANDA’S HEN by Eileen Browne