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Amadi's Snowman: A Story of Reading Hardcover – May 1, 2008

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—Set in Nigeria, this contemporary story introduces an Igbo boy who doesn't see the value of literacy. When Amadi's mother tells him that Mrs. Chikodili is on her way to help him with his reading, he stubbornly declares, "I'll be a trader. I don't need to read to do business." He takes off for the market where he wanders by a bookstall and sees Chima, an older boy he respects, looking at a book. Amadi is mesmerized by an image on the pages, and Chima tells him about snow. Unable to get the idea out of his mind, Amadi returns later to look at the volume again, and is devastated when he sees Mrs. Chikodili buying it. Now that Amadi has a reason to read—to find out about the world beyond his town—he is motivated to learn. When he returns home, there is a surprise from Mrs. Chikodili waiting for him. Amadi's experiences are genuine and come across naturally in the narrative. The vibrant illustrations depict the setting and bring richness and depth to the story. An important addition to any library, this offering fills a necessary niche for current-day stories from other cultures and focuses attention on reading as an important and satisfying accomplishment.—Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Amadi, an Igbo boy in sun-drenched Nigeria, sees no point in learning to read, until he sees a picture of a snowman in a book and is curious to find out more. He wants to learn about the far-off country where frozen rain falls from the sky—a world so different from his own—and the chance to read about it fills him with joy. Children will enjoy reading about Amadi's life in the village, depicted in the earth-toned, intimate scenes. It’s a nice reversal that young children will be able to grasp—what looks exotic and faraway to one person is a place where someone else lives. Preschool-Grade 1. --Hazel Rochman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884482987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884482987
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,918,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katia Novet Saint-Lot was born in Paris, France to a Spanish mother and a French father. She has since lived in the UK, the USA, Nigeria, and India, and travelled to many places around the world.

Her picture book, Amadi's Snowman, illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo, was published by Tilbury House, in 2008.

She is a literary translator a few hours a day, and tries to find as much time as possible to write the stories that her expatriate life and the experiences of her Third Culture Kids (children who grow up in cultures different from those of their parents) inspire her.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VS Grenier Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker

Amadi is a young Igbo man of Nigeria. His mother wants him to learn to read so that he can have a good job someday, and she has make arrangements for Mrs. Chikodili to teach him without charge. However, Amadi wants to be a trader and feels that he does not have to know how to read. So instead of waiting for Mrs. Chikodili, he escapes to the market. While there, he sees an older friend, Chima, who is reading a book at a stall. The book has pictures of a strange white creature with a nose that looks like a carrot, and Amadi is intrigued. Of course, if Amadi could read, he could learn all about snow. So, is it barely possible that reading could open up a new world for a young Igbo man of Nigeria?

This is a truly wonderful story because it not only emphasizes the importance of knowing how to read but also reminds children in this country how fortunate they are in having the opportunity of learning how to read and in having a seemingly unlimited supply of books at their disposal. It has the added benefit of helping children gain a better understanding of life for young people in Nigeria. Author Katia Novet Saint-Lot has lived in Nigeria when her husband's work for UNICEF took them there, and the father of Dimitrea Tokunbo, whose captivating illustrations add so much to the book, grew up in Nigeria. Teachers and parents can visit the Tilbury
House website for a special take home section to use with the book that features activities, discussion points, and further resources. I give this book two thumbs up!
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Format: Hardcover
madi, a young Igbo boy in Nigeria doesn't see a reason for learning how to read, so he disobeys his mother and runs off to market instead of waiting for his reading teacher to arrive. After all, he IS going to be an Igbo businessman, and they certainly have much more to do than sit around and read.

As he's walking through the market, Amadi notices an older boy he knows reading a book with an interesting picture of a snowman inside. The boy, Chima, tells Amadi about snow, something he has never even heard of, and for the rest of the day, Amadi's mind is full of questions. Maybe there's more to reading after all...

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm a huge proponent of literacy. Knowing how to read is not only a crucial survival skill, but LOVING to read can open your eyes to so many new people, places, and things. This is why I like Amadi's Snowman.

I'm not a fan of heavy-handed messages, and this book could have easily gone in that direction. However, Katia Novet Saint-Lot passes on the message of the importance of literacy through the eyes of a curious child. I've always heard stories of reluctant readers finding THE book that turned them onto reading, and in Amadi's case, it was a book about a snowman. Don't get me wrong...the message is still there, but I don't think it's too "preachy."

Also, by telling us the story of a boy in Nigeria, Ms. Saint-Lot is opening OUR eyes to another culture. We get a great description of the marketplace, learn a bit about business in Nigeria, and meet a boy who I think a lot of children will relate to even though he's in a different part of the world.
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Format: Hardcover
One of my standard rants is about books set in Africa that don't name a particular culture or language. AMADI'S SNOWMAN is not one of those irritating stories. From the first sentence, we are taken to a particular village where we meet the one-and-only Amadi, a self-described "Igbo man of Nigeria."

In the first scene, our hero is "crouched in the shrubs, stalking a red-headed lizard." Talk about evoking a sense of place and conveying character with a single economical phrase!

Understandably, Amadi is wondering why in the world he would need to read if he plans on being a businessman like his father. But when he glimpses a snowman in an older boy's book, he's snared by curiosity about this foreign carrot-nosed creation and decides to learn to read.

Novet Saint-Lot has written a universal story about the power of literacy without losing sight of the delightful particulars of one boy's life. Dimitrea Tokumbo, whose father was raised in Nigeria, widens our world with bright and beautiful illustrations.

I was reminded of Plato's cave allegory as I read Amadi's Snowman, because by the end I found myself completely smitten with Mitali's Amadi.

And so will you.
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By Janet Brown on July 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those of us who read in the same way that we breathe, sometimes it's easy to take that activity for granted. We forget the inherent magic that comes from the printed word floating from the page into an imagination and the excitement that comes when that flow first occurs.

When a book reminds us of how special it was to learn to read, and how much we once yearned to know how to do that, that book is special. Amadi's Snowman by Katia Novet Saint-Lot and illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo is one of those books that gives us back the hunger and eagerness that we once had for learning to read. A short story in the form of a picture book--and a beautiful one at that!--this book gave me chills as I read it, and when I finished the last jubilant page, I immediately went back to the beginning and read it again.

This is one of those remarkable books that is meant for all ages, where the pictures and the text come together seamlessly in a glowing, perfectly blended, and wonderful world of its own. I love this book and can't wait to share it with (and give it to) other people who will love it just as much as I do. Thank you, Katia, Dimitrea, and Amadi!
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Amadi's Snowman: A Story of Reading
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