Sunday, February 22, 2009

Book Review ~ Sikulu & Harambe By The Zambezi River

Mythology, Fairy Tales, Fables and Folktales have always been some of my favorite stories growing up. They not only teach some kind of lesson, but they are interesting and make reading fun. The story of Sikulu & Harambe By the Zambezi River is an African version of the Good Samaritan story.

This is the first in a series of adventures that follow Sikulu the spider and Harambe the Hippo as they travel to different countries in Africa. In this story, they are in the village of Sioma where they encounter an old woman in need of help. The other animals all have convenient excuses for not helping while Sikulu & Harambe are the only ones who do.

Based on an actual folktale, it is a great story that reinforces the beauty of kindness to young children. The book also offers a glossary of terms and weaves information about Zambian culture into the story. Children and adults alike come away better informed about life in Zambia.

About the Author ~

Kunle Oguneye was born and raised in Nigeria. He graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He left the world of computers and technology to focus on his passion for story-telling.

This book is geared towards children ages 3 - 8. My 7 year old and I read the book together the first time through, then she read it to herself. She really enjoyed the story a lot. Her favorite part was trying to pronounce the African words. I loved that the book tells you how to pronounce the words. I know for Cami, she loves learning other languages. She speaks basic Spanish to me all the time, then has to translate since her mommy took French and not Spanish in school, lol.

The illustrations are done by Bruce McCorkindale. They are gorgeous, he did a wonderful job bringing Sikulu and Harambe to life. The book is just full of cover, with complete page drawings that make you want to examine every inch of the page.

The back of the book contains a question about What the Moral of the story was, Glossary and information on a Ku-omboka Ceremony that was mentioned in the book, information on the animals mentioned and some information on Zambia.

Sikula & Harambe By the Zambezi River is a book you can feel proud of reading to your children. Your children will learn to help out a stranger in need, that it makes you feel good. They will also learn some African culture along the way. You can just read the book, or you can use this book as a tool for teaching your children. This would be a great book to add to a homeschool classroom.

There of course is a website as well for this book series. It is a lot of fun, there are a couple games the kids can play. I'm sure as more books are written, the site will get larger and larger as well.

If you are interested in buying your own copy, you can purchase the book at the Sikulu shop for $14.95. For just a little bit more you can add the plush characters of Sikulu & Harambe. I recommend buying the full set with the adorable plushies, too cute!

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