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

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  37 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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Raj
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
Alexandra Russo
"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
Jenna Dillon
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sarah
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
Ch_charonbradley
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
Fabulous story of life in Kenya. And the illustrations are so cute.
Marissa Garcia
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
5 year old says: great, but not that great
Melissa
Oct 31, 2008 Melissa rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
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!
Paula
A beautifully illustrated story about a little boy who is supposed to watch the cows but there are so many other fun things that he is doing in the village and forgets about the cows. It gives a great overview of what life is like for a Kenyan child
Jennie
Stunning illustrations- modern interpretation of traditional African motifs. Interesting way to show children the daily life of a Kenyan child. Children will especially enjoy the page where the child eats a sweet bug from the sky.
Barb
I loved this book--the illustrations were great and the prose was very poetic. Both the illustrations and story seemed to me a good representation of rural Kenyan life and I enjoyed the use of Swahili.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Great story about a Kenyan boy and a typical day in his village. I love the way the text reads, and I especially like the illustrations. Pair it with Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin.
Alfajirikali
Athena was really fond of this one. It has snippets of Kiswahili, and provides a wholly different perspective on social interactions and responsibilities. Beautifully illustrated.
Christina
A great picture book to give children a simple look into the life of one Kenyan child. Good illustrations along with local word choice expand knowledge and awareness in a simple way.
Brandy
This is a good story to read to your kindergarten-second grade students. It is good for them to see how life is similar and different for kids around the world.
Kayla
Absolutely the best and most gorgeously illustrated African child story. I even learned some Kenyan words, absolutely one of my favorite childrens books to date.
Dhruti Shah
vivid, descriptive -- absolutely amazing a read.

i'd say, have it as a collectors copy.
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