Anna Hibiscus

Summary:

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa with her extended family. Her mother is from Canada and her father a native African. Anna learns about snow from her mother and family from all of the relatives who share a big white house.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

An adorable girl (and her mischievous twin brothers) shares stories of her life growing up in Africa. The illustrations effectively distribute text and make this attractive to dormant and reluctant readers.

Content Awareness Factors:

Each chapter begins the same ... for several sentences. If you are reading these as individual stories, that works well. If you are looking at it as a chapter book it gets tedious by the third story.


Little Kid Reaction

My kids really liked this book. They enjoyed hearing about Anna Hibiscus and her family.

Parent Reaction

Parent 1: I loved this book. It is a celebration of family and growing up. Although set in Africa, it has universal appeal and will resonate with young readers. I also love how Atinuke artfully contrasted/compared life in Africa with other parts of the world, and also explained how modern life and traditional ways can co-exist.
Parent 2: I had very mixed feelings about this book. I loved Anna Hibiscus, dearly. But she lives a different life and holds different values than my family. It is this that is both good and bad. I loved that my children were exposed to a different way of living, from going to the store by foot, growing orange trees in your back yard, having a name that is a word (a little girl whose real name is "Chocolate", without being a joke or a play on words), and living in close quarters with family. However, the author conveys quite strongly and explicitly that the BEST way to live is with extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) underfoot, which is not necessarily the American way. Again, this is probably, overall, a good thing to be exposed to.

Parent Reaction

Parent 2: I had very mixed feelings about this book. I loved Anna Hibiscus, dearly. But she lives a different life and holds different values than my family. It is this that is both good and bad. I loved that my children were exposed to a different way of living, from going to the store by foot, growing orange trees in your back yard, having a name that is a word (a little girl whose real name is "Chocolate", without being a joke or a play on words), and living in close quarters with family. However, the author conveys quite strongly and explicitly that the BEST way to live is with extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) underfoot, which is not necessarily the American way. Again, this is probably, overall, a good thing to be exposed to.

Type of Book:
This illustrated chapter book is a series of short stories about a young girl's life growing up with a big family.
Educational Themes:

Each of the stories represents a different idea/theme in Anna's life: wanting to have personal space, dealing with younger brothers, respect for elders, traditional African ways v. modern conveniences, hard work, compassion, and others.

Reading Level:
4.1
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 to 12
Recommended Age To Read Together:
6 to 9
Age of child:
Read with boys ages 4 and 6.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a book you can read aloud with your kids early in elementary school and they can later read for themselves. It is an excellent choice for mixed audiences.

Depending on how you like this book the first time, I definitely th

Title Anna Hibiscus
Author Atinuke
Publisher Kane Miller Book Pub © 2010
Illustrators Lauren Tobia
ISBN 9781935279730
Material Hard Cover
Cost $5.99
Genres Family, Easy Reader Series, Growing Up
Cybils
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