Illustrated By: Ginger Nielson
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Shamwari Publishing
Publication Date: 2008
This beautiful collection of African rhymes provides wonderful insight into the lives of some of Africa's well loved wildlife- elephants, hippos, owls, fish, crocodiles, and even a fly. With four unique stories to choose from, readers can actually choose to read this book cover to cover in one sitting or opt for one story at a time. The text is lulling and pleasant to listen read; however, Hone uses many big words that I think younger readers/listeners are simply not going to understand or know. I don't doubt for a second that they'll enjoy the stories; but I do think they might not be able to take it all in at once.
Based on that, I tend to think My African Bedtime Rhymes might be a bit heavy for the younger readers/listeners. Yet as a parent I can see this being a great opportunity to help kids extend their vocabulary skills and open their eyes to a world they're not able to see and appreciate first hand on a daily basis. And truly, I have to say though that coupled with Nielson's amazingly exquisite artwork, which makes you want to crawl right in to the pages, it won't matter if the younger kids in the group don't fully connect with the stories right off the bat. They'll be drawn in by the rhyme and illustrations. As they then hear/read the story again and again I think they'll begin to fully appreciate the deeper subtext and factual aspects.
In short, you can't go wrong with this captivating collection. My African Bedtime Rhymes is a book that your child will continue to enjoy even as they grow older.