Friday, November 14, 2008

AMADI'S SNOWMAN by Katia Novet Saint-Lot

Welcome to today's destination on the global tour for AMADI'S SNOWMAN, a picture book from Tilbury House by Katia Novet Saint-Lot, beautifully illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo.

One of my standard rants is about books set in Africa that don't name a particular culture or language. AMADI'S SNOWMAN is not one of those irritating stories. From the first sentence, we are taken to a particular village where we meet the one-and-only Amadi, a self-described "Igbo man of Nigeria."

In the first scene, our hero is “crouched in the shrubs, stalking a red-headed lizard." Talk about evoking a sense of place and conveying character with a single economical phrase!

Understandably, Amadi is wondering why in the world he would need to read if he plans on being a businessman like his father. But when he glimpses a snowman in an older boy's book, he's snared by curiosity about this foreign carrot-nosed creation and decides to learn to read.

Novet Saint-Lot has written a universal story about the power of literacy without losing sight of the delightful particulars of one boy's life. Dimitrea Tokumbo, whose father was raised in Nigeria, widens our world with bright and beautiful illustrations.

I was reminded of Plato's cave allegory as I read Amadi's Snowman, because by the end I found myself completely smitten with Mitali's Amadi.

And so will you.

AND NOW .... THE FIRE ESCAPE IS PROUD TO PRESENT ....
THE DEBUT OF AMADI'S SNOWMAN BOOK TRAILER,
COURTESY OF TILBURY HOUSE!


1 comment:

TadMack said...

I saw some of the artist's work for this at the 7-Imps last week. I really love that acrylic technique, and the brightness and movement of the artwork. And now the story -- ! This is the complete package! How cool.

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