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Amadi’s Snowman

A boy discovers that reading is a path to a much larger world

Amadi’s Snowman

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Amadi’s Snowman

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In AMADI’S SNOWMAN, Katia Novet Saint-lot, why does Amadi’s mother insist he learn to read words when he is going to be a great businessman? Why should an Igbo man of Nigeria waste precious time on books, anyway? When Amadi disobeys his mother and runs off to the market instead of sticking around for a reading lesson, he encounters a much-admired older boy secretly reading at a book stall. Crowding himself in among the stacks of books, Amadi becomes intrigued by a storybook with pictures of a strange white creature with a carrot for a nose. Over the course of a typical mischievous day, unable to shake his questions about the snowman, Amadi discovers the vast world reading could open up–especially for an Igbo man of Nigeria.

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In AMADI’S SNOWMAN, Katia Novet Saint-lot, why does Amadi’s mother insist he learn to read words when he is going to be a great businessman? Why should an Igbo man of Nigeria waste precious time on books, anyway? When Amadi disobeys his mother and runs off to the market instead of sticking around for a reading lesson, he encounters a much-admired older boy secretly reading at a book stall. Crowding himself in among the stacks of books, Amadi becomes intrigued by a storybook with pictures of a strange white creature with a carrot for a nose. Over the course of a typical mischievous day, unable to shake his questions about the snowman, Amadi discovers the vast world reading could open up–especially for an Igbo man of Nigeria.

Reviews:

“Amadi, an Igbo boy in sun-drenched Nigeria, sees no point in learning to read, until he sees a picture of a snowman in a book and is curious  to find out more. He wants to learn about the far-off country where frozen rain falls from the sky a world so different from his own, and the chance to read about it fills him with joy. Children will enjoy reading about Amadi’s life in the village, depicted in the earth-toned, intimate scenes. Its a nice reversal that young children will be able to grasp what looks exotic and faraway to one person is a place where someone else lives.” -Booklist, July 1, 2008

“Set in Nigeria, this contemporary story introduces an Igbo boy who doesn’t see the value of literacy. When Amadi’s mother tells him that Mrs. Chikodili is on her way to help him with his reading, he stubbornly declares, ‘I’ll be a trader. I don’t need to read to do business.’ He takes off for the market where he wanders by a bookstall and sees Chima, an older boy he respects, looking at a book. Amadi is mesmerized by an image on the pages, and Chima tells him about snow. Unable to get the idea out of his mind, Amadi returns later to look at the volume again, and is devastated when he sees Mrs. Chikodili buying it. Now that Amadi has a reason to read to find out about the world beyond his town he is motivated to learn. When he returns home, there is a surprise from Mrs. Chikodili waiting for him. Amadi’s experiences are genuine and come across naturally in the narrative. The vibrant illustrations depict the setting and bring richness and depth to the story. An important addition to any library, this offering fills a necessary niche for current-day stories from other cultures and focuses attention on reading as an important and satisfying accomplishment.” -School Library Journal, October 1, 2008

WHY READ THIS BOOK?

A community of caring adults helps a boy discover reading as a path to a much larger world.

Topic:

Education/reading.

Problem:

Sometimes people do not understand the benefits of education/reading.

About the Author/Illustrator:

Author Katia Novet Saint-Lot grew up in Paris but spent her summers visiting her mother’s family in Spain. She also lived in the U.K and the U.S. Her husband’s work for UNICEF took them to Nigeria and provided the background for Amadi’s story. They now live in India with their two daughters. As a child, Katia loved reading more than anything else. She also dreamed of becoming a writer and longed for travels to faraway places–she’s now busy living her dreams with her family.

Illustrator Dimitrea Tokunbo brings to life the day-to-day experiences of life in Nigeria, where her father grew up. “I want to represent the beauty of all children. I feel that growing up biracial, having a direct connection to two different cultures in the American context, gives my art a spirit and spark that speaks to the children who were overlooked when I was a child.” Dimitrea Tokunbo illustrated two children’s books  for Boyds Mills Press, Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Has Anybody Lost a Glove? by G. Francis Johnson. Tokunbo has written one children’s book for Cartwheel Books (a Scholastic Imprint), Together, illustrated by Jennifer Gwynne Oliver, and has a new book coming out next year with Scholastic, The Sound of Kwanzaa, illustrated by Lisa Cohen. Dimitrea enjoys visiting schools and libraries to share her stories with children. She lives in New York City with her two daughters.

Additional Information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 x 10.00 x 1.016 in
Pages

32

Illustrator

Dimitrea Tokunbo

ISBN

978-0-88448-298-7

Format

Paperback

Author

Katia Novet Saint-lot

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