On a Road in Africa

Overview

Follow real-life animal rescuer Chryssee Perry Martin (a.k.a. "Mama 'O'rphanage") as she makes her daily trek down a dusty road in Africa. Along the way she fills her sisal baskets to the brim with mangoes, bananas, peanuts, and even poop-all to feed and entertain the rescued animals staying in the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.

Kim Doner's detailed oil wash and pencil paintings transport readers to Nairobi, Kenya, where children prepare snacks for hungry baboons and buffalo feast on...

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Overview

Follow real-life animal rescuer Chryssee Perry Martin (a.k.a. "Mama 'O'rphanage") as she makes her daily trek down a dusty road in Africa. Along the way she fills her sisal baskets to the brim with mangoes, bananas, peanuts, and even poop-all to feed and entertain the rescued animals staying in the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.

Kim Doner's detailed oil wash and pencil paintings transport readers to Nairobi, Kenya, where children prepare snacks for hungry baboons and buffalo feast on sugar cane. Afterword by Chryssee Perry Martin. Two backmatter spreads feature 16 photographs of orphaned animals and their rescuers. Endorsed by TV's Jack Hanna, the East African Wildlife Society, and the former director of the Kenya National Park. ReviewsForeWord Magazine, March/April 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
There really is a "Mama O" whose travels in her van picking up food for the Nairobi Animal Orphanage in Kenya are described here in verse. The text evokes the journey with the title as refrain. Mama O drives past the friendly folks on the road, purchasing some food and collecting more as donations from children on the way. At the orphanage, each animal and bird gets the food needed. The adequate verse is almost unnecessary. What dominates are the textured, intensely colored illustrations done in markers, oil washes, pencil, and colored pencil. Double pages overflow with detailed scenes like those in the store with its shelves of goods, the market display of crafts, and such close-ups as those of the children and the roadside stop with a chameleon. Of course, the animals receive the most attention, presented in naturalistic actions and appealing ways. The end pages offer English to Swahili and Swahili to English dictionaries. There are also photos and further factual information about Mama O and the orphanage. Reviewer: Ken and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- Doner celebrates the work of Chryssee Perry Martin, dubbed "Mama Orphanage" for her work as an honorary warden of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Most of the book features a rhymed account of a food-collecting journey Mama O takes along the busy, dusty African roads. She passes numerous villagers and stops at a store, market, and school to pick up donations. When she returns to the animal orphanage, volunteers distribute food and care for the creatures. Among the book's strengths are the depiction of a vibrant, modern country where water buffalo share the roads with taxi/vans, and people of various races work to care for wildlife. However, because most of the marker and pencil illustrations present Mama O's viewpoint of the trip, it takes a while to realize what the woman is doing and why. Four pages of explanatory text and photos at the end of the book provide welcome information about Martin and the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. Looking at this section first would enhance a read-aloud presentation. For the most part, the rhymed text flows smoothly, but the incorporation of Swahili words and prose snippets of conversation may trip up unsuspecting oral readers. Although the book deals with an interesting topic, the curious method of presentation limits its usefulness.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Kirkus Reviews
The genuine love special people give to wild animals leaps from the page in this book about Mama Orphanage (as Chryssee Perry Martin is known) and her fellow volunteers and workers at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. Doner, who met Martin in the United States but traveled to Nairobi to see her work firsthand, gets the pictures just right-people, landscape, marketplace stalls, traffic jams caused by the matatus (taxi vans) and animals are rendered in warm blends of marker, oil washes and colored and black pencil. It is the text-written in simple, sometimes awkward, rhyme, with a refrain that repeats the title-which limits the scope of this book. With a little reworking, the short prose essays by the author and Martin at the end (accompanied by their photos) could have served as the narrative. Books that portray contemporary life in Africa are rare and this volume, with its Swahili words, specific setting and strong visuals, deserves the country name "Kenya" in its title. Some portion of the sales will aid the orphanage. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582462301
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Pages: 46
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.43 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

As a child, KIM DONER aspired to be a Ballerina-Veterinarian-Artist— dancing at night, saving animals by day, and summering in Africa to draw wild animals from a treehouse. Today, she has made those dreams a reality-sharing her love of the arts through her award-winning children's books, rehabilitating wildlife, and planning a return to Africa with her husband. Kim lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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