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A Song for Jamela Hardcover – March 23, 2010

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–As boredom sets in over the long summer holiday, Jamela lies around, waiting for her favorite TV show, Afro-Idols, to come on, until her grandmother rousts her off the couch. At first Jamela helps out in the kitchen, but all too soon she gets in the way. Later, Gogo drops her off at Aunt Beauty's hair salon and tells her to stay out of trouble. The salon is a busy place, and there is a big commotion when Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, a glamorous star on Afro-Idols, enters the shop. The child is as starstruck as everyone else. Mama Bula tells her, “Don't just stand around like a trolley in a supermarket. Do something useful.” She is given the task of swatting a bothersome fly and, in typical fashion, she attacks her job with exuberance, resulting in a disastrous haircut for Bambi, who is asleep in the chair. Jamela saves the day by coming up with an ingenious, albeit temporary, solution to the problem. Daly's humorous and colorful illustrations reflect everyday South African scenes from a child's point of view. The illustrations, utilizing digital art, appear somewhat more stylized and with sharper lines than the watercolor art in previous Jamela books. A lively addition for most collections.Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In the fifth entry in the popular series set in a contemporary South African city, the eponymous Xhosa girl is delighted to spend the day helping out in her aunt’s salon. The real excitement comes, though, when Bambi Chaka Chaka, star of the TV hit Afro-Idols, strolls in for a pre-show ’do. After a fly-swatting accident leads to a hair disaster, Jamela finds a creative (albeit temporary) solution that earns her an invitation to see the diva on stage. The combination of Jamela’s everyday dramas and the details of her multicultural community creates a rich, entertaining story. Preschool-Grade 2. --Gillian Engberg
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Jamela
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Bks (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845078713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845078713
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,376,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book sight unseen because, as I said in the title, I love these.

This one falls a little flat for me. Jamela is bored, her mother sends her to visit with her aunt at her aunt's hairdressing salon, a star comes in for the South African version of "American Idol" (Afro-Idols... maybe it's not limited to South Africa? I don't know), she falls asleep while they braid her hair, Jamela accidentally smacks the hairdresser's behind with a flyswatter and the poor star ends up with a reverse mohawk from the razor.

These books always have simple resolutions and happy endings, and I'm not faulting that, they're picture books. But this time the solution was found too quickly, and it seems a little too pat. The star never notices a third of her hair has been shaved off (although she might figure it out in the morning) and nobody fesses up.

It just seemed a little too unrealistic. Most of the Jamela books, I really like. This one... not so much. Unless you're a big fan, pass it by. Get Jamela's Birthday or Jamela's Dress instead.
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