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The Story of Islam

Title: The Story of Islam

Author: Rob Lloyd Jones

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (Young Reading Series 3)

Number of pages: 61

Type of Book: Non-Fiction; History; Educational

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product-tag/young-reading-series-3/page/6/?orderby=date; https://www.amazon.com/Story-Islam-Usborne-Young-Reading/dp/0794518656

Price: N690; $5.86

MY SUMMARY

The story of Islam began with an ordinary man, an Arabian called Muhammad. In year 610, on a mountain close to Mecca, Muhammad sat alone in a cave when, out of nowhere, a voice spoke to him. The voice told him he was a messenger of God, an angel. Through that angel and some visions, he received revelations directing him to start a new religion, Islam. Muhammad spread the doctrines of this religion by word of mouth and with the use of animal skins but it wasn’t well received by Meccans. Muslims were persecuted for about 20 years until they took over Mecca after a war in year 630. Muhammad died two years later in year 632 but that was only the beginning of the religion. Over the next ten centuries, Muhammad’s Muslim army grew under the care of several successors (caliphs) and conquered several nations around Arabia, Christian and pagan alike, converting many to Islam. However, there was trouble in paradise. The Muslims had split into two groups, the Sunni Muslims and the Shi’ites.

Read this book to learn about these groups, the Abbasids, a group of Shi’ite Muslims who brought a period of great wealth, knowledge of the arts and sciences and culture to the world and the magnificent city of Baghdad; the Ottomans, arguably the greatest Muslims that ever lived; the Taj Mahal, the resting place of the Mughal empress, Shah Jahan, and the Crusades, the centuries-long war between Christians and Muslims over the holy city of Jerusalem.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book gives a brief but information-packed history of Islam with pictures, maps and illustrations and the most vivid words, I have read in a book in a very long time.  I have read it twice already. It’s a little slice of world history. I recommend for parents and children alike especially for lovers of history.

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Islam: Submission to God’s will; Muslims: those who submit to God’s will
  2. The Five Pillars of Islam: Shahadah: a declaration that there is only one true God, Allah and Muhammad is his messenger; 2. Salah: prayers said 5 times a day facing in the direction of Mecca; 3. Charity, giving Zakah – a percentage of savings- to the poor; 4. Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan and 5. Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca
  3. صلى الله عليه وسلم (salla alllah ealayh wasallam) is said every time the Prophet Muhammad’s name is mentioned. It means ‘Peace be upon him’.
  4. Muhammad was buried in a tomb which was placed in: The Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina, ‘The City of the Prophet’.
  5. Some achievements of the Golden Age of Islam: Literature: One thousand and one nights (Tales from Arabian nights) one of the best collections of stories and poems from the Arabian empire (read a review of one of the stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves here); Baghdad, the most spectacular city in the world at the time, the House of Wisdom, an enormous library filled with books from which many of their ideas were birthed, Astrolabes and Magnetic compasses: helped people travel the world and used later by Europeans to discover America!

VIEW SAMPLE PAGES HERE: https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/2338/the-story-of-islam/#&gid=1&pid=1

CHALLENGE: The Story of Islam

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 300-word essay on the story of Islam in Nigeria. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

 

  1. Write a 500-word essay on the story of Christianity (10-12 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

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 5th 2017. 

Next Book of the Week:

THE LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH SCHOOL by A. H. Mohammed

 

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photo credit: usborne.com

 

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Jack and the Beanstalk

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Title: Jack and the Beanstalk

Author: Retold by Vera Southgate

Publisher: Ladybird/Ladybird Tales

Number of pages: 10/47

Type of Book: Fiction; Fairytale

Age: 0 – 4

Available here: http://www.learnington-ng.com/literature/220-jack-and-the-beanstalk-a-touch-and-feel-book-.html; https://www.laternabooks.com/laterna_product_details.php?v=12878&c=111; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Beanstalk-Ladybird-Touch-Fairy/dp/1409304515; Free Download here: https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/sites/kids/files/attachment/stories-jack-and-the-beanstalk-transcript-final-2012-09-21.pdf

Price: N1000; N650; 2.80GBP

MY SUMMARY

Jack, a poor little boy lived with his mother on a farm. One day, his mother sent him to the market to sell their most prized possession, a cow. Jack however, traded the cow for some bean seeds. His poor mother, angry at the boy, threw the beans out the widow and sent the boy to sleep. The following morning, a beanstalk that reached far into the sky had grown right outside the window. Jack climbed up the stalk into the sky to find a beautiful castle in the clouds, a golden goose that laid golden eggs and a harp that played itself. Read the story to find out what happened when the owner of the castle, a giant, caught Jack trying to run away with his prized possessions.

One of the most popular lines from the story is the giant’s, “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum!”

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This is a great introduction to the world of fairytales. Jack’s story is a great adventure story that all kids will love. It’s a board book so it’s sturdy and will survive bites, spills and dunks in water. I recommend this book for all kids aged 0 to 4! Older kids can read this too.

DOWN: None

RATING

4.5 Stars.

TRIVIA

  1. This story was first told over 5,000 years ago.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read the story here: https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/sites/kids/files/attachment/stories-jack-and-the-beanstalk-transcript-final-2012-09-21.pdf
  2. Listen to the story here: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/short-stories/jack-and-the-beanstalk
  3. Read the play here: http://www.grandviewlibrary.org/ReadersTheater/JackBeanstalk/JackBeanStalk.pdf
  4. Activities here: http://www.penguinreaders.com/pdf/downloads/pyr/factsheets/9780582428591.pdf
  5. Watch a video here:

CHALLENGE: JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw and colour the picture of the beanstalk on the cover of the book (4 year olds)

OR

  1. Identify and colour Jack (2-3 year olds)

https://pintsizedbookworms.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/703e4-jack-and-the-beanstalk.jpg

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 4 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 Tuesday, June 8th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE LITTLE BLUE COW by Thecla Ojeifo

 

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1

Adaeze the true Princess

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Title: Adaeze the True Princess

Author: Nnenna Ochiche

Publisher: Grace Springs Africa Publishers

Number of pages: 164

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: Laterna Books 13 Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; The Hub, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos;  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1523963271?keywords=adaeze&qid=1457472822&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Price: N1,000; N1,000;16.80 GBP

MY SUMMARY

Eight-year-old Adaeze was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. With a name that literally means ‘Daughter of a King’ she considered herself a princess and was treated as such by her parents. She had bad grades in school, stuffed herself with food till she became overweight and got everything she wanted WHEN she wanted, either by simply asking or throwing herself on the floor and screaming her head off. She was spoilt beyond belief.

Then one day, everything changed. Adaeze’s dad got into trouble with the law and skipped town, her mum became sick. All of a sudden, Adaeze had to leave her illustrious life in urban Lagos to move to almost remote, Aba to live with her strict, poorly dressed and almost impoverished aunt. Suddenly, she couldn’t eat pizza and ice cream at will, make intermittent phone calls, go shopping, watch TV and play computer games.

Read the book to find out how Adaeze fared in Aba and how Aunty Felicia helped her become a true princess.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me (sooo much) of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”. It also reminded of my primary school days especially the Iburibu incident. Like Adaeze’s mother, the incident made me laugh till I cried. It brought memories of fighting in school. Humor! Adaeze was so badly behaved sometimes that the reader is shocked into laughter. Some of the tricks/antics Aunty Felicia employed to try to change Adaeze were downright funny.

Honestly, where the child hero of this book is Adaeze, the adult hero is Aunty Felicia. She was the highlight of the book for me. I recommend for older independent readers, boys and girls alike.

DOWN: It was a bit slow-paced and there were minor grammatical errors. It almost had a didactic tone, almost.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Adaeze’s reaction when she saw her cousin Jones riding her bike. She yelled at him, grabbed his shirt, pulled him off the bike, threw him on the floor and bit his ear!
  2. A typical day in Adaeze’s life? She would go to school, come home, eat lunch and wail to avoid doing her homework with her private tutor. Her mum would apologize, send the tutor away and try to pacify her with pizza and ice cream, then she would watch cartoons till 10pm. When her dad returned, he would bring chocolate and a bucket of fried chicken. She would eat as much as she could and then go to bed.
  3. What did Adaeze’s parents do whenever she failed in school? They blamed the teacher(s) and moved Adaeze to another school.
  4. “So many diseases just love a child with excess fat.” Who said this and why? Aunt Felicia. She was trying to get Adaeze to lose weight.
  5. Adaeze told this person everything? Isi, her equally spoilt best friend.
  6. Why did Adaeze get into a fight in church? Because a child told her she was fat. She called her Iburibu (literally: you are fat)

Visit Adaeze here:  https://www.facebook.com/Adaeze-the-True-Princess-906886066073899/  

CHALLENGE: Adaeze the True Princess

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. True princesses treat others with kindness. True or False? Write a 600-word essay on the most important qualities a prince/princess must have.

OR

  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Service to others 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, March 14th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. FRANK BAUM

*A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review

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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

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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Afro: The Girl with the Magical Hair

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Title: Afro: The Girl with the Magical Hair

Author: Okechukwu Ofili

Publisher: Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 60

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 5 – 8

Available here: https://www.konga.com/afro-the-girl-with-the-magical-hair-2087783

Price: N1000

MY SUMMARY

Imagine a kingdom filled with girls and women with pin-straight weaves: Yackiland. Imagine a girl in this kingdom with the biggest, fullest, curliest, afro; so huge that it could cause a hairclipse (yep! It could block out sunlight): Afro. Afro was bullied and or ignored by the female folk in Yackiland because she was different. Her hair wasn’t pin-straight like the Kanek weave, it grew upwards instead of downward and it was too thick! So she kept to herself, playing with her hair and reading books. Then one day, everything changed. The people of Kanek ran out of hair to sell to the Yackilanders. All of a sudden, people liked Afro and her hair, especially when they discovered that her hair was magical: it had healing powers.

But the evil queen wasn’t happy with the turn of events. She kidnapped Afro and hid her in a hole in the ground, determined to keep Afro’s magical hair and its healing powers to herself.

Then Prince came along …

Read this book to find out how Afro, Prince and all the Yackilanders escaped the clutches of the evil queen … if they did *smiles

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This is definitely the best AND the quirkiest adaptation of the fairytale ‘Rapunzel’ that I have ever read. It satisfies all the basic requirements for a classic fairytale: good guys, bad guys, magic, bad guys are justly rewarded and the good guys live happily ever after (except when Prince snored and Afro “accidentally” shocked him awake!)

I loved the illustrations too! Especially the one on page 51! (Now you have to buy the book to find out!)

Other highlights were Afro’s full name: OhMyGoodnessDidYouSeeThatGirlsAfro, then the hurray for Afro hair and the display of Ankara.

I recommend this book for kids who have read the fairytale ‘Rapunzel’, (they would appreciate the twists) and those who haven’t because it’s a great story nonetheless.

DOWN: None

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. How long was the evil queen’s hair? It was so long that it took a full minute for the hair to trail into a room behind her.    
  2. Afro’s full name?
  3. Why did people travel from all over Yackiland to see Afro? To see her magical hair and experience its healing power.
  4. What was the secret to Afro’s hair? A mixture of natural oils and raw eggs.
  5. What weird ingredients went into the evil queen’s relaxer? Acid, baby tears, bleach, lizard tails, rotten eggs and snake eyes.
  6. How did Prince find Afro? He heard singing then rapping coming from the ground in the forest!

Bonus: One more thing about Afro’s hair: It had static electricity, it could shock people!

Read an excerpt here: http://ofilispeaks.com/afrobook/

CHALLENGE: Afro: The Girl with the Magical Hair

CREATE (WRITE OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 500-word adaptation of a well-known fairy tale.

OR

  1. Draw (and name) 2 similarities and 2 differences between Afro’s story and Rapunzel’s story.

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, December 9th 2015

Next Book of the Week:

MAYOWA AND THE MASQUERADES by Lola Shoneyin

NB (just for the mummies): Did you notice the ‘Kili Kili Star’ dress on the cover?

 

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photo credit: amazon.com