Unlike ABC books that are primarily informational, this rhyming, poetic one has a continuous narrative that is more prominent than the walk through the alphabet.
During a school break, Adanah, a little (probably Nigerian, like the author and the illustrator) girl with cornrows, leaves her mother and little sister at home and rides with her father to Grandad’s house. Grandad has goats and a guitar in his gated yard, which sets the stage for encouraging readers to pay attention to the details that appear in the illustrations that the text never mentions. For instance, on the page that says, “E is for eagles / flying above the trees,” a woman carrying four cartons of eggs on her head, an elephant on a billboard, and an artist using an easel on the hill also appear. While the narrator talks only about her grandfather, the illustrations make clear that he—and his granddaughter, by extension—is a part of a vibrant community who look out for and appreciate one another. On the C page, before she leaves home, the protagonist says she will take her camera on her trip, and at the end of this circular journey, she shares all of her photos with her little sister—Zainab.
From Nigeria, a wonderful story of community that will encourage readers to see both mirrors of their own lives and windows into another fascinating place. (Picture book. 3-7)