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Handa's Surprise
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Handa's Surprise (Read and Share)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  928 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Handa puts seven delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo. But as she walks, carrying the basket on her head, various creatures steal her fruits. A monkey takes the banana, an ostrich the guava, a zebra the orange, an elephant the mango, a giraffe the pineapple, an antelope the avocado and a parrot the passion fruit. Handa walks on, wondering which of the ...more
Paperback, 28 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Walker Books Ltd (first published June 9th 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,560)
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Tahmin Nessa
Sep 10, 2011 Tahmin Nessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handa's Surprise is a book about a Kenyan girl (Handa) who visits her friend with a basket full of seven different fruits as presents. Along the way to Akeyo's village, Handa contemplates which fruit Akeyo will like the best. However, each time Handa thinks about a certain fruit an animal pops along and takes that particular fruit. For example a monkey steals the banana. Unaware that various animals have taken these tropical fruits, Handa contiunes along her journey, at which point a goat bumps ...more
Natalie Ahern
Jul 31, 2013 Natalie Ahern rated it really liked it
“Handa’s Surprise”, a vibrantly illustrated picture book, tells the story of one little girl’s walk to see her best friend, Akeyo. Each page details Handa’s journey and depicts a glimpse of tribal life in South West Kenya. The animals featured are brilliantly drawn and brought to life through colour and comedy. One can almost imagine them having personalities of their own. The twist at the end of Handa’s journey really is a great surprise!
This book encapsulates the idea that ‘less is more’. The
...more
Laura Black
Jan 28, 2013 Laura Black rated it it was amazing
This book in South-West Kenya, though this isn't mentioned in the story. It sees a young girl, Handa pick seven types of tropical fruit with the intention of taking them to her friend, Akeyo.
As she carries the basket on her head to her friends house, various animals steal the fruits, piece by piece but an accident results in her arriving with a basket full of tangerines which are incidentally Akeyo's favourite fruit.
The book uses relatively simple language and could probably be read independent
...more
Gail
Nov 02, 2013 Gail rated it liked it
I can see why this one is popular with schools, at least in the UK. The National Curriculum is more and more focused on cultural diversity, and most books for little kids are about white British kids or white American kids. Here is a book about a black African girl, in Africa.

However, as I read it, I very much got the sense of 'This has been written by a white Brit who has probably never even been to Africa.' It follows the conventions of British children's picture books. The same sort of story
...more
Stef Rozitis
It's funny how a lot of white people (yes I know I am white too) love this book because they think it is all respectful of an "other" culture and stuff. It is a fun book, but it sort of makes an exotic spectacle of Handa like the exotic animals and fruits in the book.

I don't want to blame the author for that, because among many other books perhaps there is a place for more exotic settings and colourful, celebratory difference. From an anti-racist perspective though (which is what people often w
...more
Melissa Macfarlane
Handa's Surprise is a story about a young girl who wants to bring a basket of fruit to her friend but on her journey has different items of fruit stolen from her basket. The story has some fantastic cross-curricular elements as it teaches children to identify different types of fruit as well as animals. The story is also funny, which is a key way to engage young minds in a story. Handa does not realise that the animals are stealing her fruit and if the silliness of these incidents is encouraged ...more
Hajra Natha
Aug 25, 2015 Hajra Natha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danni Hammond
Sep 02, 2015 Danni Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handas surprise is a book which is based in Kenya about a young girl named Handa who takes a basket of seven different fruits to her friend Akeyo as a surprise. She walks to her village whilst carrying the basket on her head, but on the way she meets some animals who leave Handa very surprised when she arrives at her friends. The illustrations which are used throughout this book are really great and extremely colourful which will attract children to the story. The language used is simple but des ...more
Fatima
Aug 30, 2015 Fatima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handa goes to visit her friend Akeyo. She takes with her 7 delicious fruits in her basket to surprise Akeyo. She carries the basket on her head. As she walks to her friend’s house various animals take Handa’s fruit from the basket. Handa is unaware of this and walks on to see her friend Akeyo. As she walks Handa wonders to herself which fruit her friend Akeyo would like the most. When Handa reaches Akeyo’s, she puts down the basket and gets a surprise.
The story is an amusing one with the animal
...more
Hannah
For full review, please click here

I guess I should tell the story, if not for entertainment value, then at least to help me remember. As a child in reception, we had two teachers: Mrs C and Miss R. Miss R was of Indian decent and would often bring in books set in India and costumes and pictures from India. Mrs C, although of English decent, owned a hut in Africa and would often bring in photos and books that helped us learn about where she stayed, Handa's Surprise was one of these.

Reading it aga
...more
Amal
Aug 24, 2011 Amal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of Handa and her friend Akeyo. At the beginning of the story Handa puts seven different fruits in her basket to take to her friend Akeyo. As Handa makes her way to Akeyo’s village she tries to imagine which fruit Akeyo would like best. Every time Handa describes each of the fruits in her basket; an animal native to Handa’s part of the world takes it out of the basket. Eventually when Handa’s basket becomes empty a goat breaks free from its rope and runs in to a tangerin ...more
Evelyn Armstrong
A little girl called Handa decides to surprise her friend Akeyo who lives in another village with a basketful of delicious fruit. She carries the fruit on her head in a broad flat basket. As she journeys on foot through the countryside fertile with animals, birds and butterflies she wonders which fruit Akeyo will like best. Thinking only of her friend's reaction to the surprise, Handa does not notice that animals silently and secretly steal pieces of fruit from the basket. Consequently, when Han ...more
Yasmin
Dec 09, 2012 Yasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handa's Surprise is a beautifully illustrated book whereby Handa sets off on a journey to visit her friend Akeyo taking with her a basket full of seven exotic fruits. On her journey whilst Handa is wondering which fruit her friend will enjoy best, a number of animals start to help themselves to Handa’s fruit without her even realising! She is puzzled and surprised to find a basket full of oranges to greet her friend with!
This is a fantastic book full of wonderful and colourful illustrations. My
...more
Anjumanara
Feb 28, 2012 Anjumanara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handa’s Surprise is an excellent book which I’ve read today at my SEB which is a nursery placement. Each page glows with the heat of the African sun that is portrayed with the colourful illustrations which grip children’s imagination hook them right from the start. It is fantastic for teaching the African culture, customs and different lifestyles which are part of today's society. Handa sets off to surprise her friend Akeyo with a basket of exotic fruits. The reader watches in alarm as one by on ...more
Martin Carberry
“Handa puts seven different delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend Akeyo as a surprise. But Handa’s walk takes her past a variety of animals, and the fruits do look very inviting...”
Handa is carrying a basket of fruit to her friend Akeyo. She is carrying it on her head and doesn’t notice that animals she is passing are taking fruit out of the basket. Eventually the basket becomes empty but an antelope chasing her runs in to a tree as Handa walks beneath it and fills the basket with t
...more
Joanne
Jun 07, 2012 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review for ‘Handa’s Surprise’ written by Eileen Browne’

Handa’s surprise is a great book to incorporate different cultures into the classroom. The story is based in Kenya and is about a little girl called Handa who wants to surprise her friend Akeyo with some fruit. Akeyo lives in a different village to Handa and so she carries the fruit in a basket on her head. This shows cultural awareness because generally in Britain children are not found to carry fruit in baskets on their head. The descripti
...more
Fatimah
Jan 17, 2012 Fatimah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handa's Surprise is a brightly coloured book with great illustration making each page come to life. it is about small girl of the Luo tribe in Kenya walking from one village to another, carrying on her head a bowl of different fruits which are stolen by wild animals. It is only when she arrives and greets her friend Akeyo that she realises there is nothing left in her basket! This best selling picture book has endless starting points for activities across the whole curriculum such as number sequ ...more
Alma Begum
Nov 08, 2012 Alma Begum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This story is culturally diverse and represents London even though the setting of the story is not in the UK but in Africa. There are different elements to Handa's Surprise for children to explore like the exotic fruits, which some children have not experienced tasting nor heard about. Another element to discuss is the friendship between Handa and her friend. Her whole journey in the story she is thinking what fruit he would like. The book is illustrated well therefore is inclusive to all childr
...more
Aleisha
Jun 17, 2012 Aleisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handa’s Surprise is a lovely story about a little girl called Handa, who makes a basket of fruit as a surprise for her friend Akeyo. Unsure of Akeyo’s favourite fruit, Handa picks a variety of seven different fruit to go into her surprise basket. On her journey to Akeyo’s village, Handa is totally unaware that several animals have been stealing the fruit from the basket. Luckily, a goat crashes into a tree before Handa arrives at Akeyo’s village and fills her basket full of tangerines. Tangerine ...more
Ciaran Mcnamee
Jan 15, 2013 Ciaran Mcnamee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pshe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yashpreet
Apr 26, 2012 Yashpreet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a girl who sets of to surprise her friend with a basket of 7 exotic fruits. On her journey to her friend, one by one an animal takes a fruit, leaving her with an empty basket, until a goat rams into a tree and a handful of tangerines fall into her basket. Handa throughout her journey oblivious to what was happening wondering which fruit Akeyo her friend would like best. When she reached her friend Handa was the one who became surprised with the tangerines in her basket. Which ...more
Ayshah
Nov 22, 2012 Ayshah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eileen Browne presents a beautifully illustrated book that brings a taste of Africa to children and parents. The story focuses on a little girl named Handa who decides to visit her friend Akeyo and while doing so, she wants to bring her a basket containing different delicious fruits as a surprise! Throughout her journey, she keeps wondering which fruit will be her friend's favourite but Handa's walk takes her past a variety of animals who very slyly take the fruits one by one from her basket as ...more
Anita
Nov 16, 2011 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Handa’s Surprise’ is a story about a girl in an African village who loads up her basket with seven different fruits, including guava, mango and pineapple, to bring for her friend Akeyo in a neighbouring village. However on Handa’s travels a series of various animals steal the fruit in her basket, which is carried on top of her head. At the final moment, a goat charges into a tree behind her and the tangerines from the tree fall down to fill up her basket- very lucky as these are Akeyo’s favouri ...more
Esther
Jul 23, 2012 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pgce-reviews
‘Handa’s Surprise’ by Eileen Browne is a warm and brightly illustrated book, which tells the story of Handa, a young girl on a journey to give her friend Ayeko a basket full of delicious exotic fruits. Each page turn shows a different animal pinching a fruit from Handa, until she is left with an abundance of tangerines thanks to a clumsy goat that butts into a tangerine tree. Luckily, tangerines are Ayeko’s favourite fruit.

I love this story book and I have fond memories of reading this story as
...more
Jaide Simran
Feb 11, 2013 Jaide Simran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne is a book based in Africa. Handa has a 'suprise' for her friend Akeyo who lives in a different village. She loads her basket of the seven different fruits she is taking for her before setting on your journey to Akeyo's village. On her way, she is sercretly approached by seven different animals who take the fruit from from the back of her basket which she is carrying on her head.

In the end a goat knocks a tree, and from the tree oranges drop into her empty baske
...more
Laura
Jun 23, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story that would be suited for EYFS and KS1. It is set in Africa where Handa wonders which fruit her friend Akeyo will like. She sets out with a basket of different fruits on her head in order to bring her friend. As she wonders which one will be her friend's favourite, different animals steal their favourite one from her basket. When she arrives to her friend's house, there is a wonderful surprise! She has her friend's favourite fruit after all - a basket of tangerines!


There
...more
Aszerina
This is a sweet book about a friends desire to suprise her friend. It is set in africa, so the setting and even names of the children make this book truly unique. As she journey's to her friends village, different animals begin taking the fruit until she ends up with a basket full of a surprise :-) This is a lovely book that I would use with KS1 and lower KS2. It would be great to talk about being a nice friend in PSHE or circle time. Also to look at african countries in geography or different t ...more
Mark Jepson
May 13, 2012 Mark Jepson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne was read to my Y1/Y2 class in SEB and they really enjoyed it. It was read during the literacy unit ‘Stories from Other Cultures’ and it gave the children an insight into some cultures in African countries.

The story is about a young girl, Handa, who takes her basket of fruit to meet her friend. The book focuses on several different animals and fruits which are not found in the UK. This allowed children to practise their use of adjectives e.g. “What does the lion
...more
Sara Darr
Sep 17, 2011 Sara Darr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handa's Surprise is a beautifully illustrated book whereby Handa embarks on a journey to visit her friend Akeyo bearing a basket of seven exotic fruits. Whilst she is wondering which fruit her friend will enjoy best, a number of animals steal a piece a fruit leaving her with an empty basket. It is only when she arrives and greets Akeyo that a surprise awaits her!

It is a superb book which has many cross-curricular links such as numeracy (counting), literacy (writing about their favourite part of
...more
Olivia
Feb 21, 2014 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne, is about a little African girl called Handa who goes on a journey to visit her friend Akeyo with a large basket of fruit on her head. On her journey to meet Akeyo, Handa encounters varies different animals who craftily manage to steal items of fruit that Handa has in her basket. When Handa arrives to meet Akeyo, she too is surprised when she hands over the basket of fruit and it is just filled with Tangerines.
This story is a good for introducing s
...more
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