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Anna Hibiscus Paperback – June 15, 2010


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Paperback, June 15, 2010
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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: #136,430 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.

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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

17 of 17 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 Rachel A. Dale on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Where do I even begin?
I LOVE the Anna Hibiscus series! I am always trying to find gentle chapter books for my preschool-aged daughter to enjoy, and it is quite a challenge. I just stumbled onto the first Anna Hibiscus book, and we were immediately hooked. The author is an amazing storyteller. There are wonderful illustrations on every page, which is so nice as your are transitioning into chapter books.

The stories are sweet, entertaining, educational, humorous, and touching. I love that my daughter is getting a glimpse of what life is like in other places around the world. You see a beautiful picture of a loving middle class family and also the realism of the intense poverty that exists right outside their doors. What an incredible teaching tool to use with young children.

The only draw-back is that my daughter gets a little irritated by all of my crying....it delays the continuation of the story more often than she would like. :)
These are beautiful stories with great life lessons.
I cannot recommend Anna Hibiscus highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ima on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our school librarian suggested the book for summer reading. I loved reading the book to my second grader and loved it more as she read it to me. We now have the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on May 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa. She lives in a white house with a courtyard with her parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents (except her mother's relations who live in Canada). There is plenty for her to enjoy and learn in her life, whether it is visiting the beach with family, selling oranges to help someone else, or dreaming of snow in far off Canada.

This book contains four short stories about Anna Hibiscus's life in Africa. The stories move smoothly and comfortably through life in Africa. The reader learns a lot about a different culture almost without being aware of it. This is the best kind of story, in my opinion, where the reader learns about different points-of-view without the author trying to teach it. The reader quickly learns to like Anna Hibiscus and her extended family. The delightful illustrations beautifully compliment the stories. I soon wished I could climb Anna Hibiscus's favorite tree or laugh and play at the beach with her and her family.
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