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Friday, May 11, 2012

Perfect Picture Book: Kele's Secret by Tololwa M. Mollel

Title: Kele's Secret

Author: Tololwa M. Mollel

Illustrator: Catherine Stock

Publisher: Lodestar Books; June 1, 1997

Ages: 3-7

Topic/theme: Overcoming fear, Places & Cultures: Tanzania, Chickens


Grandmother Koko's hens laid their eggs in the strangest places.

Book Summary:

A young Tanzanian boy named Yoanes must overcome his fear of a spooky shed, the scariest place on his grandparents' farm, to follow Kele to find out where she lays her egg. Of all his grandmother Koko’s chickens, Kele is the cleverest hider of her eggs. The reward for Yoanes if he can find Kele’s hidden eggs to fill the egg bowl is to accompany Koko to the market. There Koko will sell the eggs and give him a precious ten cent coin, with which Yoanes can buy any snack he wishes.


The author includes a glossary at the end of the book. Some discussion points can include: how they help their family. What they do to overcome their fears? Differences between life on a farm and life in the city. Then have children learn more about Tanzania. For some fun in the kitchen, try out this simple Mandasi recipe. Mandasi is a deep-fried bun that is a treat when eaten fresh and lightly powdered with sugar.  :) The book covers a lot of Tanzanian agriculture, have your children make a list of the different plants, shrubs, trees and vegetation mentioned in the book.

Why I like this book:

This was a really cute story. From the beginning I am drawn into the mystery of the strange and secretive Kele. I also want to know where she keeps her eggs hidden. I love how we are taken on a tour through Yoanes's homeland as he trails the clucky hen. We learn about Tanzanian folklore along the way and watch him face his fears in the process. The illustrations are simply wonderful and engaging. 


Christie Wright Wild said...

It's always nice to learn about other cultures. I wonder where the egg is hidden and I also wonder what snack he buys.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

lol! Christie, you HAVE to read this story it is the cutest book. You will never guess where Kele hides her eggs!! ;)

Kirsten Larson said...

How wonderful, this week we have two tales from Africa. It would be interesting to read both side by side.

Julie Rowan-Zoch said...

Guilty - I judge by the cover - and I love the cover picture! Already have it on hold at the library!

Julie Hedlund said...

Clever way to show overcoming fear for a "worth it" reward. :-)

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

This sounds like a beautiful story. Can't wait to read it...I have to know where Kele hides her eggs.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

indeed! :)

Heather said...

This sounds both adorable and poignant. Excellent feature!

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