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Anna Hibiscus Paperback – June 15, 2010


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Paperback, June 15, 2010
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

"I Don't Want To Be A Frog"
Hilarious dialogue between a feisty young frog and his heard-it-all-before father, young readers will identify with little Frog's desire to be something different, while laughing along at his stubborn yet endearing schemes to prove himself right. Find out more
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Anna Hibiscus (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Kane Miller Book Pub; Reprint edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935279734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935279730
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Early chapter books set in modern Africa about a middle-class family are hard to find in this country. Early chapter books that deftly handle the difficult issues of poverty, class, and economics are even rarer. Nigerian-born Atinuke’s series about young Anna Hibiscus and her large extended family do these things with grace and humor. Originally published in England, the first two are now available here. Anna Hibiscus lives in “Africa—amazing Africa,” in a city of “lagoons and bridges . . . skyscrapers and shanty towns.” Her mother is from Canada, her father from Africa, and she has twin baby brothers, Double and Trouble. Each of the four chapters tells a complete story and, while presenting clear cultural differences, explores themes that are universal and child-centered. A story about selling oranges from a family tree is of special interest as a resource for primary classrooms with economics benchmarks. Never didactic, the fluid storytelling is enhanced by Tobia’s charming illustrations. While it is disappointing that a specific country is never identified, the book’s strong features make it noteworthy. Grades 1-3. --Lynn Rutan

About the Author

Atinuke is a Nigerian storyteller. She draws upon her recent ancestry from Yoruba land, England and Wales, and more ancient origins of Spain, Portugal and China, to tell stories from both the world of folktales and contemporary life. She lives in Wales with her husband and two sons. Anna Hibiscus is her first title for Walker Books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The delightful illustrations beautifully compliment the stories.
Heidi Grange
I am both a teacher and a parent and this series is amazing at keeping early and older readers entertained as well as teaching the children about different cultures.
KLZO
It's great for kids to know what life is like overseas, but there's always the danger that they'll just assume that all of Africa is one and the same.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rarer than quality books. More elusive than good picture books for older readers. The goal, the gem, the one kind of book all children's librarians seek but know are so difficult to find . . . . the really well written early chapter book. Now let's say you've found one. It happens. Lots exist, to a certain extent (and if you know where to look). Please do me the favor of now asking yourself the following questions about said book: (A) Does it contain characters from another country? If you answered yes, then (B) Are those characters human? At this point, we aren't even talking about rare early chapter books. We're talking about near non-existent ones in the American book marketplace. Even if you answered yes to both (A) and (B), can you still guarantee me that the book is really well written with phenomenal illustrations? Cause aside from the occasional White Elephant or Rickshaw Girl there's not a whole heckuva lot to choose from. That's probably part of the reason I'm so enormously fond of this new Anna Hibiscus series by Nigeria-born author Atinuke. Not only are the stories in both Anna Hibiscus and its sequel Hooray for Anna Hibiscus! charming but they manage to walk the fine line that exists between truth and perception. There's not a kid in this country that won't identify with Anna right off the bat, even if her life is entirely different from their own.

"Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa." Get used to those words. It won't be the last time you hear them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maestra Amanda on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up as I had heard some buzz about it and the author, Atinuke. I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd like it; I just didn't think it would be for me. However, once I started reading it, I fell in love with Anna Hibiscus!

Anna Hibiscus lives with her very large family in Africa. In addition to her parents and siblings, she lives with her grandparents, her aunties, uncles and cousins in a very large compound. (It is explained later in the book that this is the traditional way in Africa).

I like Anna because she has spunk and she finds herself in situations where, while the locale might be different, the situation is similar to readers in the US. For instance---wanting snow. She bugs her family to death wanting snow until finally she finds some ice shavings in the freezer and pretends. I'm almost to that point myself---if I don't see some snow on my doorstep soon, I'm going to have to shave some ice from my freezer and pretend!

All in all, I loved the book, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Ward on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
We read this book over the summer before 2nd grade and my daughter was immediatly asking for more in the series, which I think we'll do for Christmas or her birthday. These are very uniquely written, sweet stories that I loved reading to my daughter. While the setting is so different than our life here in America, my daughter was drawn in by Anna's universal appeal and learned a lot about the differences and the similarites of those from another culture. This story is truly a lovely way to experiance Anna's Africa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on January 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Anna Hibiscus lives in a lovely old house in Africa with her twin baby brothers (aptly named Double and Trouble), parents, aunties, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. With all these people, Anna is never lonely, and everyone does what they can to contribute to the needs of the household. Their compound, which encloses the most beautiful garden that Anna has ever seen, is nestled in a busy city filled with markets, lagoons, roads, skyscrapers, and shanty towns.

In this setting, Anna navigates through a series of adventures and learning moments that take her anywhere from the garden to the market and well beyond, even to Canada where her mother was born. Each of these adventures is described as a short story in a series of four books.

This first installment of the series kicks off with a family holiday outside of the city. Just Anna and her baby brothers and parents. Double and Trouble are too much trouble though, and ultimately, the entire family, grandparents and all, have converged on the beach house to help out. In another one of the book's stories, Anna learns just how fortunate she is when she experiences firsthand the tough life lived by the children who sell fruits and vegetables on the street outside the family compound.

The book series is written by a gifted story-teller, Nigerian-born Atinuke, and illustrated by Lauren Tobia with an abundance of expressive sketches. Many of the stories include some sort of an economics theme, including the role of markets, the contrast between abject poverty and wealth, and the gender division of labor within the home. Although the author does not specify which country Anna is from, which could contribute to unrealistic generalizations, the books provide young readers with a unique view of the wonders of life in a large extended family in an urban African context.
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