Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Extended Family: Anna Hibiscus

I am chasing down the finish line of the Cybils challenge, although I don't have much low-hanging fruit left.  A quick lap came with Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke, my penultimate read in the Early Chapter Book finalists group.  I've had this on hold for about eight months now; it was one of the books I requested my library buy (King County Library is awesome in many ways) and the first one to magically show up in my hold list because I had asked them to buy it.  Computers are nifty.

It's a gentle read about Anna Hibiscus and her life among all her brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents in their sprawling family home in Africa.  She goes on a holiday, meets a new aunt, learns a lesson, and gets a wish granted in four chapters liberally illustrated with cosy black and white depictions of the events.  A few times the lessons learned grated for me -- her parent's wish for a private vacation is revealed as foolish and nearsighted, and the problems of space available in a small holiday cottage are ignored out right.  But I doubt kids will mind; they will have too much fun watching the parents stumble about making mistakes that only more family can fix.

I'll offer it to my kids to see how they like it; it's a fun child-eyes view of life in another country.  Unfortunately they are all dragging their feet because of the obvious lack of robots or dinosaurs in the book, but I will keep trying.  After all, X will read anything.

No comments: