Thursday, October 7, 2010

Anna Hibiscus - Atinuke, Lauren Tobia

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke illustrated by Lauren Tobia
Anna lives in a big white house with her parents, twin baby brothers Double and Trouble, and extended family. Including grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Anna is biracial, her mother is from Canada. I love that the author doesn't make a big deal about this, it simply is.

Anna Hibiscus contains four short stories. In each one is a look at Anna's everyday life with her family.

"Anna Hibiscus is never lonely. There are always cousins to play and fight with; uncles and aunties are always laughing and shouting; and her mother or father and grandmother and grandfather are always around. To be alone in Anna Hibiscus's house you have to hide. Sometimes Anna squeezes into some cool, dusty, forgotten places and waits for that exciting moment when her family begins to call and then a cousin or uncle finds her and her aunties thanks God!"

"Anna Hibiscus lives Africa. Amazing Africa." This is the beginning of all four stories. I really like it because there are so many negative images of Africa. I would've liked it even more if the author named what African country Anna and her family call home. Though there was so much to love about these, charming, entertaining, and funny stories. I love that these are contemporary set stories.

"Anna's mother and father and aunties and uncles drive to work in their cars. They send text messages and e-mails around the world, and call from the marker on their mobile phones to see what shopping needs doing. But the clothes they wear are made from colorful African cloth, waxed and dyed and printed."

Tobia's illustrations are great. They fit the characters and stories perfectly. I smiled my way through this book. Since the Anna Hibiscus series are chapter books with four stories, it would be a great suggestion for struggling readers. Though Anna Hibiscus should be enjoyed by many. ages 6up
Hooray for Anna Hibiscus and just released Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus are available as well.

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