Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
Anna Hibiscus returns in a picture book! Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa with her extended family and they are very happy. In fact, Anna Hibiscus is so happy that she almost floats out of the mango tree she is sitting in. She doesn’t know what to do with herself, so she asks her grandparents, aunties, uncle, cousins and parents what they do when they feel so very happy. Though Anna Hibiscus tries their techniques, she has to figure out what her own reaction to pure happiness is.
This jolly picture book captures the essence of the chapter books featuring Anna Hibiscus. Though the story is by necessity less detailed and shorter, it does a good job of setting the African stage for the story and revealing the deep love and connection that this family has. The character of Anna Hibiscus is also shown clearly and concisely, neatly packaging her in a smaller form but losing none of her charm and wit.
Tobia’s illustrations also echo the chapter books closely. They celebrate the African setting and the warmth of this home. They also embrace the different skin colors of members of the family. In the entire series, I have appreciated how frankly and naturally this is handled.
This happy, merry story would be a great addition to units on emotions or a joyful read in any story time. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Kane Miller.