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Author: Katia Novet Saint-Lot

Illustrator: Dimitrea Tokunbo

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Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Amadi is a young Nigerian boy who loves to play. He has learned his numbers so that he can be a trader. So why does his mother want him to learn how to read words? He has all the knowledge he needs. One day as he was wandering the market, he spotted Chima, an older boy, looking at a book. Amadi was curious, and began to ask questions about one of the pictures: a boy wearing lots of clothes, standing next to an animal with a carrot-shaped nose. Before Amadi could get the answers to all of his questions, the shopkeeper shooed them away. When he went back later to find the book, it was gone! Maybe he does want to learn new things. But does he have to read to do it? This illustrated picture book tells the story of a boy who doesn't want to learn to read.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, transitional reader, learning to read, read aloud book, reluctant reader, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 10

Reading Level: 3.2

Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: It took multiple suggestions to get our daughter to sit with us to read the story. We've only read it once,

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an enjoyable book, and Amadi is an engaging character. Kids will understand (and some may agree with) Amadi's logic about why he doesn't need to read. The author very artfully shows us the flaws in that logic, without brow-beating us.

Pros: Readers and non-readers alike will enjoy this story of a boy who questions the need to read.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a beautiful book in story and image. It is one that can be shared for many years.


Educational Themes: The importance of learning to read is just one of several themes. Through story and illustration, kids reading this book can learn about the Ibo (African people) and Nigeria.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, literacy, geography, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2008

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