In amazing Africa, Anna Hibiscus discovers her own special way to show her happiness after trying out what other family members do.
From her perch in a mango tree, Anna Hibiscus observes the activities of her extended family in the compound where she lives. Her grandparents relax, her aunties pound yam, cousins scatter corn. Atinuke (Anna Hibiscus, 2010, and its sequels) brings Anna to a picture-book audience in this gentle evocation of modern West African life. Tobia illustrated the Anna Hibiscus chapter books with gray scale drawings, but here she presents Anna in full color. Digitally tinted drawings begin with endpapers revealing Anna’s home, which is set between a shoreline and a bustling city, by day and by night. Varying from vignettes accompanying the text to full-bleed full-page and double-page spreads, these illustrations emphasize the warmth and love in her family, as described in the simple, dialogue-rich text. Though unmentioned in this story, they reveal what readers of the earlier books know: Anna is comparatively light-skinned; her mother is white. All the adults dress in a Nigerian style; the girls wear simple dresses. The large figures and rich colors against the white backgrounds show well to a group.Anna’s arms are always up; she’s ready to embrace the world. Young readers and listeners will surely embrace her as enthusiastically as chapter-book readers already have. (Picture book. 3-7)