Why does Amadi's mother insist he learn to read words when he is going to be a great businessman? Why should an Igbo man of Nigeria waste precious time on books, anyway?
When Amadi disobeys his mother and runs off to the market instead of sticking around for a reading lesson, he encounters a much-admired older boy secretly reading at a book stall. Crowding himself in among the stacks of books, Amadi becomes intrigued by a storybook with pictures of a strange white creature with a carrot for a nose. Over the course of a typical mischievous day, unable to shake his questions about the snowman, Amadi discovers the vast world reading could open upespecially for an Igbo man of Nigeria.
About the Author
Katia Novet Saint-Lot was born in Paris, France, to a Spanish mother and a French father. She has since lived in the UK, the USA, Nigeria, and India, and has traveled to many places around the world. She now lives in India with her husband and two daughters. A
literary translator by trade, she tries to find as much time as possible to write the stories that her expatriate life and the experiences of her Third
Culture Kids (children who grow up in cultures different from those of their parents) inspire in her.
Dimitrea Tokunbo brings to life the day-to-day experiences of life in Nigeria, where her father grew up. “I want to represent the beauty of all children. I feel that growing up biracial, having a direct connection to two different cultures in the American context, gives my art a spirit and spark that speaks to the children who were overlooked when I was a child.” Dimitrea’s children’s books include Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City,
Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, Together, and The Sound of Kwanzaa. Dimitrea lives in New York City with her two daughters.
What People are Saying About This
Katia Novet Saint-Lot has given us an important and moving glimpse into the curiosity, wonder, and knowledge a book can bring—and into the life of children in modern African cities. As Yohannes Gebregeorgis, founder of Ethiopia Reads, says, 'Books change lives.' How terrific to have a story that shows how and why. (Jane Kurtz, Children's Book Author)
Amadi's first-ever glimpse at a snowman--one depicted in the pages of a book--inspires him to transform from a resistant to an enthusiastic student of reading. Children will identify with Amadi's initial reluctance, his mixed feelings about a new challenge, and his attempts to rationalize staying the same. Yet they also will likely be inspired, as Amadi is, by the possibilities of reading, the way it can fill one's heart and shine a light on the unknown. (Cynthia Leitich Smith, Children's Book Author)
Amadi's Snowman is a beautiful tribute to the power of reading and one boy's journey of self-discovery through books. Dimitrea Tokunbo's evocative illustrations underscore the loving interchange between a mother and son. The richly hued paintings invite us to enjoy Nigeria's many splendors and provide the perfect stage for Katia Novet Saint-Lot's imaginative story. (Andrea Davis Pinkney, Coretta Scott King Honor Author of Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Amadi is a young Igbo man of Nigeria. His mother wants him to learn to read so that he can have a good job someday, and she has make arrangements for Mrs. Chikodili to teach him without charge. However, Amadi wants to be a trader and feels that he does not have to know how to read. So instead of waiting for Mrs. Chikodili, he escapes to the market. While there, he sees an older friend, Chima, who is reading a book at a stall. The book has pictures of a strange white creature with a nose that looks like a carrot, and Amadi is intrigued. Of course, if Amadi could read, he could learn all about snow. So, is it barely possible that reading could open up a new world for a young Igbo man of Nigeria?
This is a truly wonderful story because it not only emphasizes the importance of knowing how to read but also reminds children in this country how fortunate they are in having the opportunity of learning how to read and in having a seemingly unlimited supply of books at their disposal. It has the added benefit of helping children gain a better understanding of life for young people in Nigeria. Author Katia Novet Saint-Lot has lived in Nigeria when her husband's work for UNICEF took them there, and the father of Dimitrea Tokunbo, whose captivating illustrations add so much to the book, grew up in Nigeria. Teachers and parents can visit the Tilbury House website for a special take home section to use with the book that features activities, discussion points, and further resources. I give this book two thumbs up!