Age Appropriate Books Your Kids Would Love To read
Books are like little passports with which you can show your child the world, starting with their home country, Nigeria.
The love of reading is one of the most influential gifts you can give children. Teaching children to read is vital but they must also learn to love books and know its importance.
According to science, children whose families read together enter kindergarten with measurably stronger language skills. This makes them more likely to succeed throughout their school years.
Here are some contemporary books you can read to your children as they grow up. Feel free to suggest more children's books written by African/Nigerian authors.
Check out this list of Nigeria children's books
Chicken In The Kitchen by Nedi Okorafor and Merhdoht Amini
What would you do if you saw a gigantic chicken making a ruckus in your kitchen? The night before the New Yam festival, Anyaugo has to stop an intruding chicken from ruining the special dishes her grandma and auntie made. She decides she must consult the Wood Wit, a nature spirit who gives strange but helpful advice.
This humorous tale is bold. Its engaging illustrations will entertain children while teaching them about important aspects of Igbo culture. (Recommended for ages 4 to 9)
Catch that Goat! A Market Day in Nigeria by Polly Alakija
Just before leaving, Ayoka’s mother tells her to look after the goat, but the mischevious animal wastes no time in escaping. Ayoka heads to the market to find the goat. But each time she asks someone if they’ve seen her goat, they only respond with what all of their own items that are suddenly missing. Could the goat be responsible?
After the story, there are several pages of illustrated bonus material about Yoruba language and culture, as well as facts about Nigeria. (Recommended for ages 3 to 7)
My Grandfather is a Magician: Work and Wisdom in an African Village by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Nigerian author Ifeoma Onyefulu has written so many wonderful children’s books about her native country. Sadly, most seem to be out of print, but used copies are still fairly easy to find online.
In this book about occupations, children learn about one family and the many different jobs their family members do. Grandfather is a traditional healer who knows all about the power of plants and trees. Father is a teacher; mother owns a bakery; and “Uncle Law” is a lawyer. Children will recognize many of the jobs in the book, while also learning about new ones. (Recommended for ages 4 to 10).
Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank
When mama takes the baby to market, the baby is very curious about all the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. Because the baby is so sweet, vendors keep giving the baby all kinds of food to eat (without Mama knowing.) Baby stashes the extras in Mama’s basket until finally, she feels the weight of the bananas, coconuts, and more.
She’s alarmed at all the food she didn’t pay for until the vendors reassure her that they wanted the baby to have them! Your child will find baby’s antics delightful. You'll both enjoy discovering all the playful details of the marketplace in the illustrations. (Recommended for ages 2 to 6)
“Why the Sky is Far Away” in The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales by Dawn Casey and Anne Wilson
This Edo folktale serves as a cautionary story to all of us who sometimes take more than we need.
Once, people could break off a piece of the sky and eat it whenever they wished. No one had to work for food, and the sky came in many delicious flavours.
But the sky didn’t like the way the people were wasting it and tossing away bits of sky like garbage. After a stern warning, the people promised to be more careful. But after an especially festive wedding, Osato decides she wants just a little bit more. When she plunges her spoon into the sky for just one more taste, everything changes. (Recommended for ages 5 – 11)
Emeka’s Gift by Ifeoma Onyefulu
In the book Emeka’s Gift, author Ifeoma Onyefulu shows a pair of girls playing the game okoso. To play all you need is objects that spin, such as shells, spinning tops, or even pen caps. The player whose object spins the longest wins the game. (Recommended for ages 6 – 11)