|Nana Akua goes to school|
Author: Walker, Tricia Elam
Zura is worried about how her classmates will react to her Ghanaian Nana's tattoos on Grandparents Day, but Nana finds a way to show how special and meaningful they are.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 508741
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/20)
School Library Journal (+) (06/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/15/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/20)
The Hornbook (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2020 *Starred Review* One day in Zura’s classroom, the children’s grandparents visit and share things that make them special. Zura worries that her classmates might laugh at her grandmother because of the traditional marks on her face, placed there in childhood to designate her tribal family in Ghana and to symbolize beauty and confidence. Nana Akua, Zura’s grandmother and “favorite person in the whole universe,” finds the perfect solution. On Grandparents Day, after explaining her facial marks and their meanings, Nana Akua invites everyone to choose one of the 50 traditional Adinkra symbols on Zura’s quilt. Intrigued, the children and grandparents make their choices, and Nana Akua paints one on each person’s face while Zura looks on proudly. Fine for reading aloud to groups, this large-format book provides ample space for the richly colorful mixed-media collages by Harrison, the 2020 John Steptoe New Talent Award winner for illustration. Her attractive depictions of 20 Adinkra symbols, accompanied by their meanings, appear on the endpapers. The book’s well-constructed, graceful narrative, rooted in Ghanaian tradition, will engage the many children who can relate to Zura’s worries, her grandmother's warmth and wisdom, and the story’s reassuring ending. This beautiful picture book offers a helpful perspective on cultural differences within a heartening family story. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
Booklist - 03/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 K-Gr 2—Grandparent's Day is fast approaching and Zura's classmates are very excited. Alejo is bringing in his abuelo, an amazing fisherman, who will teach the children how to catch fish. Bisou's mimi is a dentist and is going to give each child a toothbrush. Zura, on the other hand, has great anxiety about introducing her beloved nana Akua to her friends. Nana grew up in Ghana and has permanent tribal markings on her face and Zura has begun to notice that these scars can scare people. She is fearful that her classmates won't understand and will laugh and be mean to her beloved grandmother. After Zura confesses her distress, she and her nana come up with a plan. On the day of the celebration, they show the class different tribal symbols utilizing a handmade quilt and then ask the children to choose one for nana to paint on their faces. Everyone is thrilled. Mixed-media collage illustrations are the perfect medium to showcase this endearing tale. VERDICT This lovely story explores the perennial fear of being different, while showcasing the great love between a grandparent and grandchild. Pair this with Joowon Oh's Our Favorite Day for a winning story hour. Strongly recommended for purchase for all collections.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph P.L., MI - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.