2

Only Bread for Eze

EZE BREAD-curves

 

Title: Only Bread 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/only-bread-eze; http://www.amazon.com/Only-Bread-Eze-Ifeoma-Okoye/dp/9784801213

Price: N300; $3.58

MY SUMMARY

There was once a little boy, his name was Eze. He liked to eat only bread.”

In the Eze series, Eze, the protagonist is a little boy who wants what he wants when he wants it. At first, he didn’t want to go to school, read ‘No School for Eze’ to find out the sidesplitting way his mum took care of that problem and without the normal shouting and flogging that was the norm for the mums of my mum’s generation or the ‘ignoring’ and ‘naughty corner’ that is the norm for the mums of my generation. In this book, Eze’s father is the genius. Eze decides that he doesn’t like garri or anything else for that matter, he’d rather eat bread. Angry, Eze’s dad grants Eze’s wish. Read the book to find out how Eze’s dad cures him of his love for ‘only bread’.

This book brings reminds me of the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for ‘cos you just might get it’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! I had a good laugh. Darling Eze’s refusal to eat garri reminded me of my own childhood. I couldn’t understand the mums’ fixation with ‘daily lunchtime garri’ 🙂

The book teaches young children the importance of discipline without being didactic. It is very easy to read. Another highlight was the reference to typical Nigerian meals: rice and stew, beans and plantain, yam, gar and okro soup, etc. I recommend this book for beginning readers.

DOWN: Warning: Eze’s dad’s idea may not work at home (at least not in the same way), simply because, most kids, unlike Eze may not give up quickly. My son, for example, would have stuck it out for a full day at least. I wont explain in detail. Buy the book for your beginning reader or read it to your toddler *wink wink*

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Eze’s favourite food in the world. Bread!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Team the reading experience with a review of your child’s food choices.
  • Watch a video of the book reading here:

CHALLENGE: Only Bread for Eze

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

What do you like eating?

  1. Draw and name three things you like eating (5-6 year oldsOR
  1. Draw two things you like eating (4 year oldsOR
  2. Draw or name one thing you like eating. (2-3 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 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, March 2nd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen

 

 

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0

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

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Title: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Author: Chris Riddell

Publisher: Macmillan

Number of pages: 219

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goth-Ghost-Mouse-Chris-Riddell/dp/0230759807; audio download: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goth-Girl-Ghost-Mouse/dp/B00OT44HX4/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: 8.24 GBP; 4.63 GBP

MY SUMMARY

Ada Goth is the protagonist in the Goth Girl series. Living in Ghastly-Gorm Hall, an enormous house with enormous grounds, (six gardens, a racecourse, two stables, two ice houses, a deer park, etc.) Ada is lonely until she meets the ghost of Ishmael, the mouse, the Cabbage siblings, Emily and William and the rest of the Attic Club members. Together, they trail Maltravers, the scary and sneaky indoor gamekeeper to uncover his sinister plot set to take place during the Ghastly-Gorm House Party. The much awaited Ghastly-Gorm Hall House Party features the Annual Metaphorical Bicycle Race and the Indoor hunt and is usually attended by Lord Goth’s friends and the villagers from the nearby hamlet of Gormless. Read the book to find out all the interesting creatures Maltravers tricked into coming to Ghaslty-Gorm Hall, the rest of his sinister plot and how Ada and her friends foiled his plans, if they did! 🙂

NB: This book won the 2013 COSTA Book Awards and was shortlisted for the 2015 CIUP KATE GREENWAY Medal

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I loved the play with words: Ishmael, the sea-faring mouse (think Ishmael in Moby Dick); the clock called little ben (London Big Ben); Charles Cabbage, the inventor (Charles Babbage); Rupert Von Hellsung, the hunter of strange creatures (Van Helsing) with guns called Hansel and Gretel (the witch hunters); the Monster of Mecklenburg (who looked oddly like Frankenstein and had the same birth story) and his talkative bird which kept repeating ‘Icebergs icebergs everywhere, nor any drop to drink’ like Long John Silver’s bird, etc. I found myself trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind each word. This made the book like a puzzle of some sort and I LOVE puzzles!

The quirky characters made this book a fun read especially, Ishmael the mouse, William Cabbage, Lucy the umbrella-fencing vampire governess and even the sneaky Maltravers! Expect some hearty laughs from these characters.

The illustrations were a major highlight too!

The icing on the cake was the teeny weeny book attached to the book titled “The Memoirs of a Mouse” featuring the memoirs of Ishmael written in rhyme. (pictured below)

DOWN: It draaaaaaggggged, read, slow-paced. It’s a bit dark (just a wee bit) Not for the mom/child who doesn’t like weird creatures, vampires, etc.

RATING

4 Stars

 TRIVIA

  1. Ada’s first friend at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The ghost of Ishmael, the mouse.
  2. The Attic Club? The secret club formed by all the young servants and children of the workers at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. They met daily at 10pm and helped Ada foil Maltravers’ plans.
  3. Ada’s second set of friends? The Cabbage siblings: Emily, the painter who walked with a paint box and stool strapped to her back and William, with the chameleon syndrome, who could literally blend into his surroundings.
  4. Ada didn’t trust him. Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper.
  5. The creatures Maltravers lined up for the indoor hunt instead of Pheasants. The singing bird woman, Sesta the siren and her back up singers, Orphia, Eurydice and Persephone (the harpies); Hamish the Shetland Centaur and Mr. Omalos the Faun; the great apes: the Wildman of Putney and the Wife of Barnes.
  6. How old was Lucy Ada’s new governess and what was her special talent? 300 years old!! She was excellent at fencing, with her umbrella! 

Visit Ada and her friends here: www.gothgirlbook.com

CHALLENGE: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a short 600-word essay on the topic: Hunting

OR

  1. Draw a picture of Siesta the Siren using the details below:

“With the head of a woman and the body of a large bird … Her eyes were the colour of a wine-dark sea, while her hair was cormorant black, the dark curls swept back and held in place by a headdress of shimmering bronze. Her body was covered in feathers the colour of dark seaweed, while her tail and wings were a bright gold and matched the glittering talons on her feet.”

OR

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

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, February 28th 2016. 

Next Book of the Week:

HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN COUNTRY by Valerie Wyatt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

 

Title: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

Author: Barbara Park

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 69

Type of Book: Fiction; Contemporary, Series

Age: 5 – 8

Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Junie-Jones-Stupid-Smelly-Bus/dp/0679826424; or listen to the audio file here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O76tvcTx0k

Price: $2.97

MY SUMMARY

She licked her shoes to make them shiny. She looked at one of her new classmates, a boy, and her first thought was ‘I think I can beat him up’. She hid in the supply closet after school to avoid getting into the school bus! She is Junie B. Jones.

Junie B. is a precocious almost six-year-old who gets into the most ridiculous and hilarious scrapes. In this book, the first book of the series, it’s Junie B.’s first day of school and a classmate unwittingly tells her something so ‘scary’ that Junie B. decides not to go home after school. She hides out in a closet in her class, then pops out later to explore her new school. She ‘plays’ teacher in her classroom, sharpens all the pencils plus a crayon on the librarian’s desk in the library, hops on and falls off a pair of crutches in the nurse’s office, and finally has an ’emergency'(she has to go the bathroom) and calls 911 to rescue her!

This is the perfect fun and funny book for beginning readers. One of my favorite lines comes right after Junie B. does something silly and her mum rolls her eyes:

‘Mother rolled her eyes and looked at the ceiling. I looked up there, too. But I didn’t see anything’

Told in the first person, it’s exciting, funny and fast-paced.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book sets the stage for subsequent books in the series. It’s quite easy to read, very very funny and the illustrations are super! I am desperately in love with the series. It is one of the reasons I decided to start writing again. I recommend this book for boys and girls (girls particularly) between the ages of 5 and 8, especially reluctant readers and kids who love to laugh.

DOWN: Junie B. uses some unsavoury words like stupid, dumb, hate, etc. Young readers must be made to understand that these words are bad.

Junie B. also mixes up her tenses, something that’s pretty common with kids but not with books. Again, this could be another ‘teaching’ opportunity for the parent/guardian of the young reader.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Junie B.’s favourite things in the world. Books!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

CHALLENGE: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  • Write a short story about your first day in primary school (7-8 year olds)

OR

  • Draw (and name) two big items in your bedroom and two small items in your living room (5-6 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 5 – 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, February 24th 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

ONLY BREAD FOR EZE by Ifeoma Okoye

 

 

0

Litte Women


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Little Women

Author: Louisa May Scott

Publisher: Puffin Books

Number of pages: 816

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here: http://www.konga.com/little-women-1541322; http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/little-women-young-reading-series-3/; http://www.amazon.com/Little-Women-Puffin-Louisa-Alcott/dp/0147514010/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455598503&sr=1-1&keywords=little+women; http://www.planetpdf.com/planetpdf/pdfs/free_ebooks/Little_Women_NT.pdf

Price: N1500; N580; $12.86; Free download

MY SUMMARY

Little Women is a coming of age story revolving around the March girls: pretty, lady-like Meg, tomboyish Jo, feeble Beth and precocious Amy. The girls live in genteel poverty in the mid 1800s with their mother (Marmee) while their father fights in the American Civil War. Little Women chronicles the life of the girls as they try to overcome daily obstacles, make friends and grow up under the watchful Christian eye of their mother.

NB: This story has two parts: Little Women and the Good Wives, usually contained in one book under the title, ‘Little Women’. Be careful, when buying to ensure that you get a double and not single part copy.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: An American classic, set in the mid-1800s, it gives readers an insight into the life of the typical American family during the civil war. It promotes the themes of love, friendship, hard work, etc., and shows readers the consequences of good and bad actions. The characters, interestingly diverse made this a delightful read. Rambunctious Jo, the second March girl had me in stitches for most of the book. Mrs. March (Marmee), reminded me of the Nigerian mother, determined to instill Christian values in her children and using every opportunity to do this. I recommend this book for all members of the family, old and young alike.

DOWN: It’s a bit didactic, quite long and sometimes, the dialogue/text dragged. Not for the reluctant reader.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The secret club formed by the March girls?C: The Pickwick Club.
  2. The Laurence boy? The bashful but fun-loving, half-Italian, teenage grandson of the rich old man that lived in the grand mansion behind the Marchs.
  3. Some of the kid’s favourite pastimes? Gardening, writing, acting plays, secret clubs.
  4. What were the kid’s unique daily burdens? Meg: poverty, Jo: a bad temper, Beth wanted to own/play the piano and Amy thought her nose was too flat (she put a peg on its tip sometimes to make it pointy and ‘aristocratic’.
  5. The kids’ daily activities? Meg babysat, Jo worked as their old aunt’s companion, Beth took care of the house and Amy went to school.

Read the book here: http://www.planetpdf.com/planetpdf/pdfs/free_ebooks/Little_Women_NT.pdf

CHALLENGE: Little Women

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a short 600-word essay on the American Civil War

OR

  1. Draw a picture of the March girls using the details below:

“Margaret, the eldest of the four, was sixteen, and very pretty, being plump and fair, with large eyes, plenty of soft brown hair, a sweet mouth, and white hands, of which she was rather vain. Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt, for she never seemed to know what to do with her long limbs, which were very much in her way. She had a decided mouth, a comical nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were by turns fierce, funny, or thoughtful. Her long, thick hair was her one beauty, but it was usually bundled into a net, to be out of her way. Round shoulders had Jo, big hands and feet, a flyaway look to her clothes, and the uncomfortable appearance of a girl who was rapidly shooting up into a woman and didn’t like it. Elizabeth, or Beth, as everyone called her, was a rosy, smooth- haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression which was seldom disturbed. Her father called her ‘Little Miss Tranquility’, and the name suited her excellently, for she seemed to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusted and loved. Amy, though the youngest, was a most important person, in her own opinion at least. A regular snow maiden, with blue eyes, and yellow hair curling on her shoulders, pale and slender, and always carrying herself like a young lady mindful of her manners.”

OR

  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Contentment 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, February 21st 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

GOTH GIRL AND THE GHOST OF A MOUSE by Chris Riddell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark

Title: Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark

Author: Mary Pope Osborne

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 68

Type of Book: Fiction; Contemporary, Adventure

Age: 6 – 9

Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Dinosaurs-Before-Dark-Magic-House/dp/0679824111

Price: $2.82

MY SUMMARY

Jack, 8 and Annie, 7 were two ordinary kids who discovered some extraordinary things while walking through the woods near their home one quiet day. First, Annie came upon an abandoned tree house filled with all sorts of books: old ones, new ones, dusty ones, shiny ones. Then Jack made an even more amazing discovery. He wished he could see one of the flying dinosaurs in the book he read and whoosh!! Jack and Annie were transported in time to the time of dinosaurs!! Here they saw flying reptiles, a colony of dinosaurs with nests containing dozens of eggs, a t-rex, the scariest dinosaur of all time! (they eat human beings in one bite!), and he got to ride a flying Pteranodon!

It is a must read for all boys and girls especially those who have just started reading independently. This book is the first in an adventure series that takes the siblings on several journeys through time to discover the wonders of the world. This series has sold more than 100 million books world wide!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Readers join Jack and Annie in an exciting adventure in the time of dinosaurs! This book is easy to read and packs a lot of fun, adventure and facts in a small package. I recommend this book for boys and girls between the age of 5 and 9, especially beginning and reluctant readers and kids with a love for adventure. I love LOOVE looooove the series and have stocked up for my boys!!

Perhaps, the greatest highlight is the non-fiction companion to this book (pictured below) This book is a reference tool that contains all sorts of fun facts about dinosaurs!!! The book also has some pointers on how to do research in libraries, museums and using books and the internet!

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Tree-House-Fact-Tracker/dp/0375802967/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455247755&sr=1-1&keywords=magic+tree+house+fact+tracker

Jack and Annie will appeal to both boys and girls.

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Ask your child to list three types of dinosaurs mentioned in the book. ATriceratops B. Anatosaurus C. Tyrannosaurus

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Team the reading experience with a fact-finding fete. Find out all you can about dinosaurs. Read the Non-Fiction Companion
  • Listen to the audiobook here

Read extracts of this book and its non-fiction companion here:

http://www.magictreehouse.com/#read_a_sample

CHALLENGE: Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  • Write a short 400-word essay on dinosaurs (8-9 year olds)

OR

  • Draw (and name) three types of dinosaurs (6-7 year olds)

 

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 6 – 9 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 17th 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

JUNIE B. JONES AND THE STUPID SMELLY BUS by Barbara Park

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2

Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London I

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Title: Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London I

Author: Segilola Salami

Publisher: Segilola Publishing

Number of pages: 64

Type of Book: Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Yetunde-Life-Times-Yoruba-London/dp/0993444601/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451339628&sr=8-1&keywords=yetunde+the+life+and+times+of+a+yoruba+girl+in+london

Price: $13.33

MY SUMMARY

This is a book of Nigerian folktales but it’s not just another book of folktales. These folktales are told by a 6-month old baby who gets them as bedtime stories from her mother. Yetunde is not the average 6-month old. She is a precocious 6-month old Yoruba baby living with her mummy in London and this book is her diary. Each chapter begins with a narration of a day in Yetunde’s life and ends with a folktale. Her unique perspective on daily adult activities is amusing and thought-provoking at the same time. The folktales are the icing on the cake. The book has five chapters with five stories each, some of which many moms will remember.

Read the book to find out how tortoise broke its shell, how it used a drum to create a feast for its village, how he tried to become the wisest animal in the world, etc.

Read it to take a trip down memory lane and give it to your child to read to learn a thing or two about Nigerian folktales and how they’re told. Of course, the chief protagonist in every Nigerian folktale (Tortoise) is present and in grand style too! A good read for every member of the family.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book made me smile. I remembered the first time I heard the story ‘How Tortoise broke its shell’ and how hard I laughed at the birds until they took their feathers from Tortoise. If you heard a lot of folktales as a child, you definitely heard this one. This folktale made the rounds.

The book also made me think of the fact that my kids really need to hear our Nigerian folktales. Sometimes, we’re so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to pass some of these wonderful things that were a natural part of our lives to our children.

The use of Yoruba was wonderful. This was one of the major highlights! I love reading books in indigenous Nigerian languages. We don’t have enough of those!!!!

Baby Yetunde’s diary sets this book apart from other folktales and gives it a certain quirkiness that I like.

For non-Nigerians, it shows a lot of the Nigerian culture, especially for modern day Nigerians. There’s a little bit on music, (reference to Lagbaja and Flavour), food (fried plantains and chicken stew), the folktales (of course) and the language. For Nigerians, we’ll see a lot of ourselves in the lives of Yetunde and her mum.

The illustrations though sparse were exquisite!!!

One of my favorite sentences: “Mama can go from a trendy professional Londoner to Iya Alata (a pepper seller) in 0 to 10 seconds. She’s hardcore like that.” The sentence before that was hilarious! I laughed until I cried.

DOWN: There were some minor downs. There was a bit of Nigerian English here and there, the use of a swear word and some other words that would likely make my kids ask me questions I may not want to answer. I believe it was a reference to a mother’s breasts going south, something I totally understood and found funny but will not be in a hurry to explain to a child. The text wasn’t justified so it made reading visually annoying for me. The addition of the Yoruba language was a plus and a minus. As much as I love the idea of writing in our native language, the inability to understand the language was a mini-downer for me as in some cases, there were whole blocks of text in Yoruba and no immediate translation. Fortunately, the translations were added in the last section of the book so the reader isn’t left hanging.

All in all, it was a good read. I would recommend to anyone who loves the idea of Nigerian folktales with a twist!

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Story 1: How did Tortoise outsmart the birds? By taking on a new name: All of You
  2. Story 2: Why did the scorpion sting the frog in spite of the fact that he knew that this would make them drown? Because it’s in his nature to sting.
  3. Story 3: Oluronbi made a promise she couldn’t keep. What was it? She promised to give the spirit that lived in the Iroko tree her first child.
  4. Story 4: Why did Tortoise want to be the wisest animal in the world? He wanted other animals to come to him for advice so he’d charge them and become very wealthy.
  5. Story 5: How did Tortoise become the chief in his town? He gave all the animals in the village food daily from his drum.

Watch the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCMv4wU5sHI

 

CHALLENGE: Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

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

OR

  1. Write a 400-word story in your native language.

OR

  1. Write a 400-word short essay on a theme that was common to all the stories: ‘Keeping your word’

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, February 7th, 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

AGES 4 – 8: MAGIC TREEHOUSE: DINOSAURS BEFORE DARK by Mary Pope Osbourne

AGES 8 – 12:  LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May-Alcott