Our World: ­Ethiopia

Barefoot Bks. (Our World). Oct. 2023. 20p. $9.99. ISBN 9798888590119.
PreS-Gr 3–This board book’s cover displays a young girl and her father in a shop in Addis Abba buying a shamma, a traditional Ethiopian dress. The story follows a typical day of the girl, opening with a healthy breakfast at home. From there, she and her father travel to the city park, driving by a statue of The Lion of Juda, where they have an enjoyable time riding horses and playing hide and seek. Returning to their home, they share with family a communal basket of injera and wat, or flat bread and a spicy stew. The day ends with the girl’s mother reading her an Amharic fairy tale as the tired girl drifts off to sleep. The colorful illustrations depict the paradox of life in Addis Abba, where it is not unusual to find goats and chickens on the lawns of modern high-rise office buildings. The text, written in English with Amharic words and pronunciations inserted, is fun and interactive. The illustrated end notes help summarize the book’s contents and clarify the cultural references.
VERDICT Even though board books are usually intended for very young children, it would also be appropriate to include this one in younger elementary school settings as part of a global awareness unit.

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