OFF TO THE SWEET SHORES OF AFRICA  by Uzo Unobagha

OFF TO THE SWEET SHORES OF AFRICA

and Other Talking Drum Rhymes
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Inspired by Mother Goose but looking to cultural traditions closer to her own, Nigeria-born Unobagha offers dozens of original short rhymes incorporating West African sights, sounds, wildlife, and customs. “ ‘Kokori Kokori / Coconut Boy, / Give me some milk / And I’ll dance in joy.’ / ‘A cowrie, a cowrie, / Is all you need; / Give me a cowrie / And dance indeed.’ ” Most of the figures in Cairns’s village or country scenes are dancing, colorfully dressed children with very dark skin, silhouetted vividly against light backgrounds. A mix of illustration, some full-page, others double with borders, still others small, framed vignettes add to the pleasing design. The verses are light and fresh, a pleasure to read alone or aloud—and despite the author’s avowed intention to inform or remind readers of African themes and mores, they are not weighed down by pedantry: “Mama hold my little hand / Mama hold my little hand / Mama hold my little hand / As I skip across the sand.” Glossary. (Poetry. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8118-2378-4
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Chronicle
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2000




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