Monday 6 August 2012

219. Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke illustrated by Lauren Tobia

Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke illustrated by Lauren Tobia
Published August 2012 Walker

From the publisher:
Anna Hibiscus is back home after visiting her grandma in Canada. But it seems that so much has changed while she was away! Double and Trouble have learned to run and Grandad seems to have grown older. One of the chickens has laid its eggs and eventually they hatch - all except one, which Anna looks after. Finally one morning that egg hatches too and a white ball of fluff appears. Anna names her chick Snow White, and the two are inseparable. But Snow White wreaks havoc wherever she goes, and Anna has a hard time keeping her out of trouble. Anna also has a surprise visitor - someone from Canada has come all that way to see her!

Another book about Anna Hibiscus in the Racing Read series.   I like this book for a number of reasons.  It’s a great choice for readers who are moving from early chapter books, and gaining more confidence.  There are still some illustrations scattered throughout the book, but there are larger chunks of text.  The other thing I like is the glimpse into everyday African life.  It’s not a book about ‘African Life’ it’s a book about a little girl called Anna, who just happens to live in Africa.

Anna has just come back form a holiday in Canada, visiting Granny Canada.  Canada was very different to Africa, and she did things and learnt things that her family find very strange.  At first Anna thinks that her family won’t love her the same because if the experiences she has had, but she realises that even though her family don’t understand everything about her anymore they still love her just the same. 

In Australia most children live in a house with their parents and brothers and sisters sometime Grandparent might live there too.  Anna Hibiscus lives in a big white house with her Mum, Dad and brothers, but that’s not all she also lives with her Aunties and Uncles and all of her cousins…all in the same house.  The names are also pretty interesting, Anna has brothers named Double and Trouble and she has cousins with names Chocolate, Clarity, Wonderful, Miracle and Common Sense.

There is also a contrast between city and urban lifestyles also, as Anna goes to visit her friend Lily in the city.  The contrast is quite overwhelming for Anna, as she is faced with beggars in the streets one minute, and then a luxury apartment with a roof top pool the next.

All of these observations are subtle, and not the purpose of the story.  Anna is character that children from any country will identify with, as she does all of the things children do all over the world, from wanting a pet, playing with her friends, to getting into trouble from her parents!

Here's a peek inside:

Who will like this book: Girls age 7+
Read it if you like: Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

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