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Anna Hibiscus Paperback – September 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Anna Hibiscus Series

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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

Review

This is a wonderful collection of colourful, warm and lively stories to be read over and over. Primary Times A series of lively, captivating tales. The Scotsman In her first novel, storyteller Atinuke guides us through Anna's throughly modern multicultural life and family and Lauren Tobia's evocative illustrations spill around the text. Juno An interesting read in which we learn to appreciate the joys of African life. Cork Evening Echo Memorable and enchanting. School Library Journal A life-affirming way to encourage your child to celebrate simple joys Junior a story of sizzling happiness that starts small and grows irrepressibly...her township is beautifully drawn...a book to put - and keep - a smile on your face The Observer There are so many reasons to love the Anna Hibiscus books as wonderful stories with beautiful illustrations; but the inclusion of a mixed-race family and unfamiliar cultural setting make these important books to share with every child Child-Led Chaos --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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 Publishers; Reprint edition (September 1, 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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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The stories about Anna Hibiscus are beautiful and fun for any young child. Anna Hibiscus is totally relatable to any American child, while her stories teach about African culture and gently touch on hardship and poverty. I was worried it might be difficult for my five-year-old to understand a lot of African concepts and culture. But through the eyes of Anna Hibiscus, it's easy for her to imagine living with a large family, having to work for a living, revering your grandparents, keeping a modest way of life according to your traditions, and desperately wishing to see snow!

My little one did shy away from the story where Anna sells oranges and causes harm to the other orange sellers. She didn't like the serious tone (compared to the other chapters), the implication that Anna had done something wrong, and Anna's penitence. She typically avoids that chapter, but she does understand the lesson.

I'd highly recommend this book for the stories in their own right and also as part of a child's gentle introduction to other countries and cultures.
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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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