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For You Are a Kenyan Child
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For You Are a Kenyan Child

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  163 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Imagine you live in a small Kenyan village, where the sun rises over tall trees filled with doves. You wake to the sound of a rooster's crow, instead of an alarm clock and the school bus. Your afternoon snack is a tasty bug plucked from the sky, instead of an apple. And rather than kicking a soccer ball across a field, you kick a homemade ball of rags down a dusty road. Bu ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 257)
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Raj
Aug 03, 2012 Raj rated it really liked it
This is a short story about a little Kenyan boy and the sequence of events during the course of a particular day when he is entrusted with looking after his grandfather’s cattle. It’s not long before his mind wanders and he neglects his unexciting task in favour of more interesting things. We are then taken through a series of normal, everyday encounters in an African village, such as talking to people getting on with their daily business, running after monkeys and playing football with friends. ...more
Sandra J.
May 02, 2016 Sandra J. rated it liked it
The story can be a comparative piece. Students can draw on their own experiences from the tasks they must do to the distractions they get throughout the way. Perhaps a child from an urban city can compare to the times they get distracted by friends. Children who live in rural areas can see the similarities when they need to tend to their farm animals. The book shows a good depiction of how different a life of a boy in Africa is from the life a kid in the United States.
The illustrations were bea
...more
Debbie
Jul 26, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it
For You are a Kenyan Child
Kelly Cunnane
1997

Categories/Genres for class fulfilled by this book: Easy Reader

Age – interest: Pre-K-2

Age – reading level: 2.8

Fiction or Non-fiction: Fiction

Brief description: A young Kenyan boy finds many diversions to his job of guarding his Grandfather's cows.

2 characteristics of this genre / subgenre and how they appear in this book:

Characteristic #1: Includes illustrations: beautiful, complement the text and expands the story beyond the words and gives the reader
...more
Molly Finnerty
Jun 29, 2015 Molly Finnerty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
"For You are a Kenyan Child" tells the story of a little African boy who spends the day exploring his community, saying hello to friends and family when he should be helping his Grandfather tend to his cows. Unlike the traditional American child who wakes up and goes to school, the little Kenyan boy wakes to the sounds of roosters and doves from inside his hut. His mother sees him off as he wanders through his town, popping into the tea shop to say hello to Bashir, the wood shop to greet the vil ...more
Maggie McKeon
Feb 25, 2015 Maggie McKeon rated it it was amazing
The story is about a young child growing up in Kenya and how his daily life goes. His job is to watch his grandfather's cows but he is a curious child and wanders off to play around the village with his friends and family. It is meant to compare the life of a Kenyan child to that of a child that has grown up in a very different setting. Everyone grows up differently around the world, some with less than others, but you can still be happy and live a full life.

The theme of the story is to be caref
...more
Alexandra Russo
Jun 29, 2014 Alexandra Russo rated it it was amazing
"For You Are a Kenyan Child" is an engaging picture book written in the imperative command style. The author writes as though the reader is the Kenyan child that is featured in the text; she is instructing you, as the Kenyan child, what to do through the knowledge that these are the things the Kenyan child would want to do. The book is an excellent way to study cultural diversity in the classroom. It put the reader in the exact position of the Kenyan child, and give the reader more autonomy by m ...more
Krista
I just read this for the first time and loved it. This book puts you as a Kenyan child, immersed in the rich culture through vivid drawings and beautiful words. You meet Bashir with "long, loopy hair" who gives you the first pancake of the day and "Grandmother, plump as a hen" who gives you sleeping milk. You travel through the village meaning to go check on your grandfather's cows, but interesting things keep getting in the way until you look to the hill and notice the cows are not there. Afric ...more
Najat Ahdaya
Oct 13, 2015 Najat Ahdaya rated it liked it
For you are a Kenyan Child is a story about a boy whose mom sends him off for the day to take his Grandfather's cows to the pasture. As the cows are eating the young boy goes on his own adventure, stopping and visiting many people of his village. This is a very appealing children's book. The way layout of the text and the illustrations are beautiful and fun! The author made sure she included Swahili throughout the story. Although this book does not stress on the Kenyan culture, it has a fun stor ...more
Kassandra
This a beautiful picture book that shows what a typical day looks like for a Kenyan boy in Africa. It introduces the culture and daily tasks of a Kenyan family, while also teaching Swahili, the language that is primarily spoken in Kenya. This picture book shows different people and their roles in the little boy’s community. He ends up neglecting one of his chores and fears that he will get in trouble. At the end his grandpa helps him take care of the sheep and he learns that he needs to focus on ...more
Jen
Jan 28, 2016 Jen added it
Shelves: picture-book
(2006) A beautiful book about a young Kenyan boy's experience of a typical day in his village. The boy is asked by his mother to take his Grandfather's cows to the pasture and keep an eye on them. He takes them there but soon gets distracted by all of the people, sights, and sounds of his village. He ends up visiting a cook, the village chief in the wood shop, many animals, and his Grandmother. This story has beautifully vivid illustrations and the text is interspersed with words in Swahili. The ...more
1EnRuQuE3684
Nov 18, 2011 1EnRuQuE3684 rated it it was amazing
It looks amazing :))
Jenna Dillon
Oct 22, 2009 Jenna Dillon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fluent-catalog
Summary:Imagine you live in a small Kenyan village, where the sun rises over tall trees filled with doves. You wake to the sound of a rooster's crow, instead of an alarm clock and the school bus. Your afternoon snack is a tasty bug plucked from the sky, instead of an apple. And rather than kicking a soccer ball across a field, you kick a homemade ball of rags down a dusty road. But despite this, things aren't that different for a Kenyan child than they would be for an American kid, are they? Wit ...more
Bryn
Sep 28, 2008 Bryn rated it it was ok
Genre: Cultural Folktale
Grade: K-4
Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

This story follows a Kenyan boy through an average day in his village. He wakes up and takes his grandfather's cattle to graze, but decides to go visit a friend while they are eating. AFter that, he plays a game with a friend, looks at insects with his sister, and visits a friend who is carving wood. Through his many activities he forgets his responsibility of taking care of his grandfather's cattle.

The illustrations in the book were b
...more
Kim Valentine
Aug 29, 2008 Kim Valentine rated it liked it
FOR YOU ARE A KENYAN CHILD won the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. It is a realistic fiction book that is recommended for children ages 3-8. The illustrations are crisp and colorful and are large enough for group viewing. A sweet story about family, responsibility, and a curious little boy. This story is about a rural Kenyan childhood. There is Swahili words and phrases throughout the book. I think the explanation of the words and definitions inside the cover would be a great lesson during studies o ...more
Adrian Wade
Jan 30, 2012 Adrian Wade rated it it was ok
I do not feel as thought I have enough first hand experience or education in the culture of Africa, so I feel insecure reading this story. The language is mixed between English and African words, and there are no pronunciations included within the text. There are a few stereotypical symbols of the African cultures such as a red and yellow beanie, dreadlocks, and eating bugs. The part of the story that I find most interesting and relatable is when the Kenyan child plays ball with his friend. The ...more
Kira
Text: 2 Stars
Illustrations: 5 Stars

Experience a day as a Kenyan child in a village, but don't forget your chores!

I appreciate what this book was trying to do, but I don't think it ever worked. The story is told in second-person ("you"), so that the reader/child identifies and experiences the story as the Kenyan protagonist. I know it is to show people not as "the other" but as people with similar experiences. However, because of the second-person narration (which is a bit clunky), the story is d
...more
Adriel
Apr 07, 2014 Adriel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ezra-keats-award
This is an unusual perspective, telling the story of a normal day in a Kenyan village in the second person. The little boy forgets his chore of watching Grandfather's cows to run about the village saying goodmorning to everyone, the village baker, the chief, his grandmother. It is charming and bright and playful, using bright colors and interesting size perspectives to give it a bit of a surreal feel, but in a good way. I like the way the whole village is close and friendly.
John Matsuura
Mar 26, 2013 John Matsuura rated it really liked it
This is a delightful book that offers information about the Kenyan culture. It is a story about a Kenyan child who sets out to herd and feed the cows, as his mother tells him to do. Along his way to his chore he experiences several different things that are commonly seen in the Kenyan culture. This book also includes some sentences in Kenyan, which then translates into the English language. This provides a great learning experience for children about the Kenyan language and what different object ...more
Maggie
Jun 30, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 577-the-list
Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Writer (2007)

Interesting second-person narrative encourages children to spend a day in the life of a child in a small Kenyan village. Lots of vocabulary and interesting animals cover the pages of this book, and the text interacts playfully with the illustrations. Good for a 3-5s story time.
Sarah
Nov 10, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves:
The story takes place in the Kenyan village and a little boy encounters all sorts of fun activities during the day. The little boy is asked to help to do some chores, but just like any little boy, other things distract him. He has a fun and playful day and forgets about helping to take care of the cows with his grandfather. At the end of the day, he recalls all the fun he had to his mother, as he lays down to go to sleep.
There is Swahili words and phrases throughout the book. I think the explana
...more
Andrea
I wish I could give this book a higher rating, but perhaps my criteria are overly stringent. The illustrations are beautiful, but the colors are unnatural, which might be fine if the book were not clearly presenting itself as a "multicultural" experience. The same could be said for the text. Numerous inaccuracies mark it as the product of a fairly shallow acquaintance with its setting. My kids, who have visited this area of Kenya, read the book once and lost interest as they said, "The person wh ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
This is genuinely a multi-cultural tale, telling the story of a young rural Kenyan boy's day. Engaging illustrations and enough drama to hold children's interest.
Ch_charonbradley
Feb 11, 2010 Ch_charonbradley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In this story is about a boy who goes through out his day finding himself not doing a specific job that his father gave him. He has good intentions but like any child he gets distracted by all the interesting things and friendly people in his village.As he is distracted, he calls out different cheers in the Swahili language. I would use this book in grade K-8 because it give students the opportunity to read about someone that gets distracted as they do as well. The illustrations are filled with ...more
DeeAnn
Jul 17, 2014 DeeAnn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Fabulous story of life in Kenya. And the illustrations are so cute.
Marissa García
Apr 28, 2012 Marissa García rated it it was amazing
A tour of day to day life in Kenya is led by the spirited young protagonist as he neglects his cow-herding duties to visit adults around his village. Uh-oh! He visits too long, because the cows are missing!

This warmly illustrated masterpiece is very well crafted. Swahili vocabulary words march seamlessly through Ana Juan’s gorgeous landscapes, and she gives Kelly Cunnane’s characters mischievous expressions that precisely fit the joyful, celebratory tone of the book. Since it is a longer text, t
...more
Carrie
Sep 28, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it
5 year old says: great, but not that great
Melissa
Oct 31, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: teachers, parents interested in diversity + multiculturalism
Recommended to Melissa by: self
"Hodi?" "Karibu!" ("Anybody home?" "Welcome!") This is the refrain throughout For You Are a Kenyan Child. The narration asks that you, the reader, imagine yourself as the Kenyan child, experiencing an eventful day in Africa. Curiosity and wonder lead the Kenyan boy astray, mixing and mingling with traditional Kenyan people, animals, and cultural icons, from the village chief to a chepati (pancake). It's a very nicely illustrated book with lively text interspersed with Swahili phrases and vocabul ...more
(NS)Jennifer Reiner
Sep 26, 2009 (NS)Jennifer Reiner rated it really liked it
The story takes place in the Kenyan village and a little boy encounters all sorts of fun activities during the day. The little boy is asked to help to do some chores, but just like an little boy, other things distract him. He has a fun and playful day and forgets about helping to take care of the cows with his grandfather. At the end of the day, he recalls all the fun he had to his mother, as he lays down to go to sleep.
Jolynn
Craft focus is the use of the 2nd person narrative, which is pretty rare. It's a good way to explore the use of narrative for distance. Art is wonderful. I'm a little wary of the "authenticity" of the story, but in general a good look at the everyday life of a little boy.
Mrs. Lynch
Mar 09, 2013 Mrs. Lynch rated it liked it
I loved the playful feel of the book and the interspersed Swahili. It told the story of a day in a Kenyan child's life, showing the many differences to an American child but also the many similarities in every child's experiences. Long to read to my 1-year old, but delightful!
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