17 June 2012

We All Went on Safari (Laurie Krebs & Julia Cairns)

[This post originally appeared on the JoziKids blog.]

Subtitled ‘A Counting Journey through Tanzania’, this lovely book introduces little readers (I’d say older toddlers – aged 2 to 5 – who are still being read to, and 6- and 7-year olds who are just starting to read for themselves) to three things:

1.     Tanzania
2.     Safaris
3.     Counting

The story starts with a large extended family going on ‘safari’ at the start of a sunny day and spying a lonely leopard. They count ‘one’ (in Swahili, ‘moja’). Then, two (‘mbili’) ostriches running. Then, three (‘tatu’) giraffes grazing. And so on, through beautifully illustrated and laid out pages, to ten (‘kumi’) enormous elephants.

The use of descriptive verbs (‘Up bobbed some hefty hippos’), colourful adjectives (‘Grasslands damp with dew’, ‘Zigzag zebras’) and tidy rhyme is careful and clever. And right at the end, as an extra, are pages on the animals of Tanzania, the Maasai people, Swahili names and their meanings, facts about Tanzania, a map and the full list of numbers, one to ten – all with stunning illustrations and useful pronunciation.

I can’t wait for my littlie to be just old enough to graduate from board books and have this read to her. In the interim, you should buy it. It’s something really different. 

No comments: