CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007
Smiling faces welcome readers into the contents of these four books which each focus on assisting children in being able to identify a single colour: green, red, blue or yellow. Following an opening statement indicating that the child seen on the cover likes a particular colour, 19 colour photographs then reveal items, like articles of clothing, toys, foods, or buildings, that are of various shades or hues of the appropriate colour. The books conclude with the cover character walking away from the reader while saying, “Bye-bye [appropriate colour].”
While most African children will undoubtedly recognize the various objects and items used to illustrate the colours, Canadian children will definitely encounter some new sights as well as new vocabulary, both that given to familiar objects and that belonging to entirely novel items. Canadian children will recognize a kettle, but, in the brief text, it bears a new name, a “buta.” Additionally, familiar items come in unfamiliar shapes as shown by the blue balls of soap as well as by the very long yellow bars of soap which get chopped into customer size pieces. A “Notes” section at the conclusion of each book explains some of the specific vocabulary, and consequently readers learn that the yellow “garden eggs” are not really eggs but are eggplants and that a “trotro” is the name given to “a passenger-carrying van in Ghana.”
The first time an adult takes a child through these books, colour will likely be the primary focus; however, each book merits repeated viewings in order to mine the rich store of “information” these books incidentally and visually impart about how the life of African children is alike and different from that of their Canadian counterparts. Though the books are aimed at African preschoolers, they have a definite place in the social studies curricula used in Canadian early years classrooms.
Dave Jenkinson, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, is CM’s editor.
To comment on this
title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.