This week is Africa! I have to admit, Africa is not an area that I feel very passionate about. I wouldn’t normally pick up a book about Africa to read to them. So, I was a little nervous about this week because I didn’t want to accidentally pass on to my kids that Africa doesn’t matter. But! I have really, really liked the 4 books we have read this week! I debated making some African food, but I decided to maybe approach food when they’re a little older and either less picky or more easily bribed. ;-)
(All italic descriptions from Amazon.com, and asterisks mark my own thoughts on the book.)
Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby
by Patricia Maclachlan
“The rhythm of the day’s activities creates the melody of the evening’s lullaby in this sweet song of family life along the banks of Lake Tanganyika… Rich, beautifully detailed illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon offer a restful complement to the Swahili refrain ‘lala salama’–an invocation to ‘sleep well.'”
** I loved this sweet, gentle story of a lullaby the mother is singing to her baby. The illustrations were my favorite part, but the tone of the book is also calming. I thought it was also a great introduction for my kids about what daily life is like for a family on Lake Tanganyika. Honestly, this is one I might buy for our home library. **
Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow!
** This book is great! It reminds me of some of the simple chapter books we’ve read this past year for school, like Beezus and Ramona. My 6 year old and I are both really enjoying reading about the adventures of a little African girl. I hope our library has the other books in the series! **
by Page McBrier
“This illustrated book offers the true story of how a poor African girl was able to attend school after receiving a goat as a gift through a special international project and then sell its milk to get the money needed to buy her books.”
** This was probably my least favorite of the 4 books we read this week, though I certainly didn’t dislike it. It is a great explanation of how projects like Heifer International can help families. I do highly recommend this book if you are desiring to involve your kids in a family donation to Heifer or another similar organization. **
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
by Verna Aardema
“A cumulative rhyme relating how Ki-pat brought rain to the drought-stricken Kapiti Plain. Verna Aardema has brought the original story closer to the English nursery rhyme by putting in a cumulative refrain and giving the tale the rhythm of ‘The House That Jack Built.'”
** We enjoyed this fun rhythmic book, and it gave a great opening to talk about the climate in Africa and also about tall tales. **
Another fun thing I added this week was two Usborne sticker books. My girls love stickers and dolls, and Usborne books are such high quality. I got Around the World and Costumes Around the World. Each page has a person or persons from a different country/region, and a short little explanation about the clothes. The stickers are the outfits and you build the outfits with the stickers. The two books don’t have the same countries, but I was able to find one in each for Africa (Nigeria and South Africa), so we got to talk about the climate in Africa and how that affects the clothing. I think I might pick up a few more of these books for our next road trip.