A Song for Jamela

Overview

The summer holidays are here and all Jamela can think about is the Afro-Idols TV final. So, when she lands a job at Divine Braids hair salon, she can't believe her eyes to see Afro-Idols celebrity, Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, in the salon. But while Jamela's idol dozes and Aunt Beauty designs her starry hairdo, a buzzy fly threatens to ruin everything. Can creative Jamela save the day?

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Overview

The summer holidays are here and all Jamela can think about is the Afro-Idols TV final. So, when she lands a job at Divine Braids hair salon, she can't believe her eyes to see Afro-Idols celebrity, Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, in the salon. But while Jamela's idol dozes and Aunt Beauty designs her starry hairdo, a buzzy fly threatens to ruin everything. Can creative Jamela save the day?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Jamela is bored. It's the second week of summer vacation, and she has nothing to do except wait for her favorite show, Afro-Idols, to come on. Her mother and grandmother are beginning to grow weary of her boredom when her Aunt Beauty calls to ask her to help out in her beauty salon. Jamela does odd jobs around the shop until excitement breaks out. Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, the Afro-Idols favorite, comes into the salon to get her hair done for the big show! Everyone rushes to help. Jamela ends up chasing a fly. When she swats the fly, a big mistake is made, and they must work even harder to make Miss Chaka Chaka look spectacular. The colorful illustrations bring the story's South African origin to life while conveying the movement and excitement of the story. The tale, however, relates to children from around the world. Experiences like the summer boredom and the love of competitive TV shows will connect with many. The family relationships are rich and loving. The inclusion of exclamations from South Africa's varied languages adds more to the culture presented, and a glossary in the back of the book makes the entire text accessible. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—As boredom sets in over the long summer holiday, Jamela lies around, waiting for her favorite TV show, Afro-Idols, to come on, until her grandmother rousts her off the couch. At first Jamela helps out in the kitchen, but all too soon she gets in the way. Later, Gogo drops her off at Aunt Beauty's hair salon and tells her to stay out of trouble. The salon is a busy place, and there is a big commotion when Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, a glamorous star on Afro-Idols, enters the shop. The child is as starstruck as everyone else. Mama Bula tells her, "Don't just stand around like a trolley in a supermarket. Do something useful." She is given the task of swatting a bothersome fly and, in typical fashion, she attacks her job with exuberance, resulting in a disastrous haircut for Bambi, who is asleep in the chair. Jamela saves the day by coming up with an ingenious, albeit temporary, solution to the problem. Daly's humorous and colorful illustrations reflect everyday South African scenes from a child's point of view. The illustrations, utilizing digital art, appear somewhat more stylized and with sharper lines than the watercolor art in previous Jamela books. A lively addition for most collections.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Jamela's back, and she's bo-o-o-red. It's the second week of summer vacation, and already she's run out of things to do. She spends her days moping, annoying her mother and grandmother and waiting to watch Afro-Idols on television. Imagine her surprise and pleasure when one of the contestants, Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka, suddenly shows up at Jamela's aunt's beauty salon, where she has been invited to spend the afternoon. Unfortunately Jamela manages to get on the nerves (and in the way) of everyone at the beauty shop, too. Even worse, her pursuit of a pesky fly precipitates an unintended reverse Mohawk for Miss Chaka Chaka. Jamela's quick thinking and her aunt's clever fingers save the day, however, and free tickets to the Afro-Idolsfinals are the icing on the cake. Once again Daly ably paints an engaging picture of contemporary life in South Africa that highlights the globalization of culture. The lengthy text flows smoothly, and the loose, energetic illustrations depict a world that is simultaneously familiar and exotic. Jamela's back—hooray! (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845078713
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Niki Daly's groundbreaking Not So Fast, Songololo, winner of a Parent's Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children's books. Jamela's Dress, first in the Jamela series, was another milestone book, chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children's Book and by Booklist as one of the Top 10 African American Picture Books of 2000, and winning both the Children's Literature Choice Award and the Parent's Choice Silver Award. He lives in Mowbray, a bustling Cape Town suburb.

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