Torina's World: A Child's Life In Madagascar


As we explore the village of Marovaoay in Madagascar, Torina shows us and tells us about her life: how she lives, what she and the other children do for fun, and the feelings they share. Along the way, Torina takes time to ask the reader about his daily life.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This photographic story helps young readers learn about Madagascar in a way that engages them in the process.

Content Awareness Factors:

The Torina's World website offers some good information about Madagascar, but we wish that there was a resource list in the book itself with some additional background material. For example, some of the children's faces were painted. We had questions, but no information to offer.

Little Kid Reaction

Our child liked this story, particularly the photos at the end where she could study the faces of the children. She took her time in answering Torina's questions, and it was nice to "see" the thought that went into them.

Parent Reaction

We enjoyed this book. The black and white photographs really illustrate the quality of life in Madagascar. We love how the questions invite the reader not only to contrast their own environment, but how they also show the things we have in common.

Type of Book:
This photographic story invites young children (and those learning to read) into a new culture.
Educational Themes:

The book has so much to offer. The photography lends itself to exploring what Madagascar really looks like (beyond just the people in the image). The statement/question format is exquisite and invites children to explore elements of life that look different on the "outside" but are common to us all. The Torina's World website complements the book with facts that don't fit the story.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
7 to 9
Recommended Age To Read Together:
5 to 9
Age of child:
Started reading with 6-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is definitely worth reading. It is a nice contrast to many of the early / developing reader books that are out there, but still offers critical vocabulary development and encourages comprehension and reflection.

Title Torina's World: A Child's Life in Madagascar
Author Joni Kabana, Benjamin Opsahl
Publisher Arnica Publishing, Inc. © 2007
Illustrators Joni Kabana
ISBN 9780979477140
Material Hard Cover
Cost $14.95
Genres Cultures & Tradition, Geography
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