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Anna Hibiscus

(Anna Hibiscus #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,705 ratings  ·  281 reviews
Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Kane Miller (first published October 1st 2007)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,705 ratings  ·  281 reviews

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Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rarer than quality books. More elusive than good picture books for older readers. The goal, the gem, the one kind of book all children’s librarians seek but know are so difficult to find . . . . the really well written early chapter book. Now let’s say you’ve found one. It happens. Lots exist, to a certain extent (and if you know where to look). Please do me the favor of now asking yourself the following questions about said book: (A) Does it contain characters from another country? If you answe ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like this series, you may also like Younguncle Comes to Town and Younguncle in the Himalayas.

Terrific introduction to life in urban "Amazing Africa." Anna's family is well-off, and thankful, and Anna learns a lesson about less fortunate children. And Anna's mother, an import from Canada, learns the 'Village to raise a child" importance of family. And Aunt Comfort shows how one can live with traditional values in a modern world. And the last story makes me want to read the next book... so
Ashley Bostrom
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-ghana
After spending two-and-a-half years living in Ethiopia and another year living in Ghana, all I can say is this book is terribly offensive. Supposedly the author was born in Nigeria, but then she should know that "Africa" is a continent, not a country. The main character, Anna Hibiscus, lives in "Africa." Because that's where her father was born. Her mother was born in Canada...a country. She should have said North America.

"Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa." I've spent years on this
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
What a lovely story. The book showcases four different chapters with individual stories contained within about Anna Hibiscus, who is a young girl growing up in Africa with her large, loving family.

In the first story Anna, her father, her mother, and Anna's two baby brothers go on a vacation away from the family, but discover that it's very difficult to take care of babies and cleaning all by yourself. The next day, all the aunties come to help. But that's not quite enough--and so all the big cou
Emilia P
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-stuff
Here marks a new phase in my life -- Working in the Children's Department, reading kids books for fun and work. Someone came in asking for early-reader books about life in Africa and one of the librarians recommended this. She raved about it so I decided to pick it up. It's very sweet, and totally interesting: Anna Hibiscus's mom is Canadian but they live a very big-family-African life with her father's extended family. I have to say my favorite part were the beautiful, light-hearted, and well-l ...more
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that at first I wasn't sure how to feel about Anna being described as a girl living in Africa, making it sound like a country - but that was all too soon forgotten as sweet Anna Hibiscus found her way straight into my heart. What a lovely beginning chapter book! It will allow children growing up in similar settings to identify with Anna, her joys and sorrows, and at the same time provide children from other parts of the world with a glimpse of what life for a girl in an urban Afr ...more
Katy Noyes
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful set of tales about a little girl growing up in a large, happy family in Africa!

So much in here to recommend - the traditional element of Anna's family, the way they live modern lives as well, the loving relationships, some very sweet stories about a bright and curious girl, and a whole pile of fascinating detail of African life that comes out in the pictures and stories.

This will be read to my son when he's older.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story of Anna Hibiscus, a little girl growing up in Africa, "amazing Africa," is delightful and provides a glimpse into a life many US children are unfamiliar with. Anna's mom is from Canada and moved to Africa to raise a family with her husband who is African. Anna's adventures with her large family of cousins, aunties, uncles, and grandparents are fun for children anywhere in the world to read about. ...more
A beautifully written transitional book about a modern urban African life of a little girl and her huge multicultural family. A rare gem.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is such an interesting story. It's unique to find early reading books featuring diverse characters from other cultures. This one is fantastic. ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning Chapter-Book Readers / Anyone Interested in Children's Stories Set in Modern Africa
"Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa." And so begins this engaging collection of short stories about a young girl, the daughter of an African father and Canadian mother, who lives with her father's extended family in a large white house within a beautiful garden compound. In Anna Hibiscus on Holiday, Anna, her mother and father, and her twin brothers Double and Trouble, attempt to take a holiday away from all of the uncles, aunties and cousins who make their compound so noisy, only to ...more
Barb Middleton
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just had a conversation with a colleague about grandmother names. She told me I had to think about it now that I'm going to be one. Anna Hibiscus, the protagonist, nicknamed hers, "Granny Canada." I love it. I thought of "Granny Taipei" but that sounds like "Granny Type A" which is plain ole' weird. I'm open to suggestions. "Granny Dumpling?" "Granny Foo-Foo?" "Granny Ding-Dong?" Word choice doesn't seem to be my strong suit tonight - fightin' a cold. Ah well. Anna comes from a multicultural f ...more
Alina Borger
These chapter books are a treasure--and I'm so glad I heard Uma Krishnaswami speak about them in January or I'd never have known to pick them up. This review applies to the first four books of the series.

Through her charming protagonist (& family), Atinuke develops a picture of life in "amazing Africa" that effectively squashes many western notions about the continent while also taking western perspectives on family and clothing and vacationing and pets to task for their myopia. The other books
Mary Ann
One of the things I love is when reading provides a window into another part of the world. Anna Hibiscus, a new series of short chapter books, provides a wonderful view into the world of a young girl living in a modern, middle-class African city. The author, Atinuke, creates a likeable character, a little girl children will relate to, seeing much of themselves in her stories. But children will also appreciate how Anna Hibiscus's family keeps their traditional African ways.

Anna Hibiscus is a perf
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My very favorite early-chapterbook discovery that I've made as a parent. (Is it still an early chapterbook if there aren't chapters? This is a collection of four different Anna Hibiscus stories, all around the same reading level as Frog & Toad, my lifelong favorites.)

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa ("Amazing Africa!") in a big white house with her large and loving extended family, including her mother, who is a Canadian expat (and who is still occasionally hit by culture shock). The stories are s
Prince William Public Libraries
Anna Hibiscus lives in a large house in an African city with her Canadian mother, African father, grandparents, aunts and uncles, many cousins, and twin baby brothers. This first volume of the Anna Hibiscus series introduces Anna through several realistic events of everyday life, including a holiday trip with her parents and brothers to an island beach, a visit from an aunt who has moved to the United States, and an invitation to visit her grandmother in Canada to see snow for the first time.

I would give this to:
- Families looking for a fun, gentle read-aloud. I can imagine this working for 4 year olds (who like to listen to longer books) on up through 1st or 2nd graders.
- Kids who are looking for chapter books a little more challenging looking than The Jackson Friends Series (like Pa Lia's First Day) by Michelle Edwards or the Little Rat books by Molly Bang.
- Kids who like the Clementine books by Sarah Pennypacker. This one is a little shorter and might feel a little easier than
Karen Arendt
Anna Hibiscus is the perfect multicultural story for 2nd and 3rd graders. Anna lives in Africa with her parents, grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles, and cousins. Her house is a compound and she is never alone. Each of the four chapters (Anna Hibiscus on Holiday, Auntie Comfort, Anna Hibiscus Sells Oranges, and Sweet Snow) is a story that can stand alone. The reader learns many facts about how a child's life is very different in Africa. Anna also learns a few tough lessons about how fortunate ...more
I loved reading this book with my daughter. It is precisely the type of book that more kids should read in order to show young learners the many different types of people there are in this world. Each chapter begins with the same refrain: "Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa" (7). The repetition sets the stage for the amusing focus in each chapter but also reminds us that we are in fact somewhere other than the United States. I mostly enjoyed the ways in which the story focused on diff ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke (2010)
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Book
Plot summary: Anna Hibiscus lives in beautiful Africa with her large, extended family.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.)
Review citation (if available):Pierce, Lonna. School Library Journal , Jan2013, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p60-60,
Section source used to find the material: MCPL Booklist "Realistic Stoires"
Recommended age: 1st-3rd grade
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Anna lives in Africa with her very large family...grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, dad and her brothers Double and Trouble. She is a sweet girl whose life is quite different from a typical American child, especially one who grows up in the city. My 9 year old and I enjoyed reading this book separately and discussing it together.
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-kids
Love love loved this one. Each chapter is like a little gem, and the book is much too short. We read it slowly to savor it. The illustrations are wonderful. Nothing much happens in the sense of a plot, but each chapter is its own good, simple lesson. Perfect.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
young Anna lives in Africa with her parent's two brother's and the rest of her family she go's on many sweet fun filed adventure's in this book such as going to the beach planing a party and much more i can't wait for you to read this book ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
A fun quick listen during part of an afternoon. The narrator did an amazing job and our kids really enjoyed these stories! I loved how fun they were and how they centered African perspectives and family structure.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sweet early chapter book. 5yo enjoyed it and so did I. I will pickup the rest of the series.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this early chapter book that explores the life of a Nigerian girl with humor, virve, and lots of family-centered chaos. It's wonderful to share a piece of world literature with my children! ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is really neat to learn bits of another culture through a fictional children’s book!
Ideal for readers who are just beginning to tackle chapter books, this one features a most likable protagonist in Anna Hibiscus. Although I might wish that the author had distinguished which part of Africa Anna lives in--after all, Africa is a huge continent with many different countries--I liked how each of the four chapters or short stories begin in the same way with "Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa." This repetition is comforting to readers while also making it clear that the vi ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We absolutely loved these stories about Anna Hibiscus living in Africa, amazing Africa. The stories were funny and sweet and positive but also insightful. I love that my kids got to hear about what it’s like for children living in other places and see what was different than our life and what is similar. We listened to on audio, and the narrator did an excellent job. This is the only book in the series our library has and I really wish they had more of them. Highly recommended.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
We really enjoyed this read-aloud set in "Amazing Africa," and featuring a relatable young girl and her large, bustling family. Full review here:
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Atinuke is a Nigerian-born author who started her career doing traditional oral storytelling. Her books include a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner, a Notable Book for a Global Society, a Cybils Award Winner, and an Africana Award Winner. She lives in Wales.

Other books in the series

Anna Hibiscus (8 books)
  • Hooray for Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #2)
  • Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #3)
  • Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #4)
  • Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #5)
  • Go Well, Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #6)
  • Love from Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #7)
  • You're Amazing, Anna Hibiscus! (Ann Hibiscus, #8)

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