Obara And The Merchants


Life here in this part of Nigeria could not be more desolate: the ground can not grow plants, the hunters could find no prey; there is no water. So that he could eat, Obara left his village to hunt. He returned with his prey and put together a stew that was so aromatic that tradesman from miles away followed the scent. When asked to share, Obara did not hesitate, even knowing this was his only food. In return, the tradesman shared their bounty, as well.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

The story is well told and is, in essence, a representation of the adage that when you share, your bounty comes back to you ten-fold. It is a great book for families looking for stories that have an African tradition.

Content Awareness Factors:

It would be nice to have gone the next step with the story to know what Obara did.

Little Kid Reaction

Our child enjoyed the story and asked questions about the illustrations. While s/he sat patiently, the story did not make that heart-felt connection of other books. This has potential for helping our child with building vocabulary as s/he learns to read (i.e., second grade).

Parent Reaction

This is a wonderful story that almost ends too abruptly. What did Obara do with his newly-gotten gains? Was he able to help others in his village? The story is self-contained, but still left me wanting more.

Type of Book:
This is apicture book with a story reminiscent of classic old-world folktales.
Educational Themes:

The book offers the opportunity to talk about Africa, both through geography, tradition, and culture (e.g., oral history, folklore). The story itself opens the door to talk about sharing (even when it's something precious to you) and community.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
6 to 9
Recommended Age To Read Together:
3 to 8
Age of child:
Read with nearly 6-year-old child.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a nice story and it has an important lesson. Still, it is one that your child will outgrow.

Title Obara and the Merchants
Author Michelle Bodden
Publisher Water Daughter Publishing LLC © 2004
Illustrators Kwenci Jones
ISBN 0975308904
Material Hard Cover
Cost $14.95
Genres Cultures & Tradition, Fable | Folklore
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