Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Amadi's Snowman

I just received this book in the mail from Sarah at Tilbury House Publishers. Tilbury House is a small independent publishing company in Maine that specializes in picture books on cultural diversity, nature and and character/confidence building through real-life stories of children. Thank you Sarah!

Opening Amadi's Snowman brought back a flood of memories like a dream, and I just had to dig up some of my old photos out of storage.

Here's one dated August 1990 from my travels in Africa. I'm preparing dinner (an all day process) with my dear friend Oumi while Ami sings and carries the baby on her back (see his cute little feet by her arms?)

Dimitrea Tokunbo's illustrations truly capture the colors, sights, simplicity and beauty that is Africa. The bright blue sky, warm golden dusty roads, the outdoor marketplace, women cooking and washing with big bowls, gorgeous multi-patterened fabrics... In fact, I had to scan the book cover because I couldn't find any online images bright enough to do Dimitrea's art justice!
Ms. Tokunbo is also a full-time mother of 2, a writer, and a Muralist. I would love to see her colorful murals gracing the gray New York City walls.

The author Katia Novet Saint Lot grew up in Paris and has traveled all over the world. A visit to Nigeria ignited the fire for Amadi's story about a boy who disobeys his mother and skips out on his reading lesson. While playing hookey, he becomes intrigued with a book he finds in the marketplace stall with pictures of a snowman. It is through this book that the door for him opens up with the possibilities of exciting new discoveries through reading. A reminder of how just one little book can change a persons entire life!

Katia's husband works for Unicef and they currently live in India with their 2 daughters. Hmmmm I wonder what book she is working on next? I can only imagine....... and I will definitely try to contact her for an interview as I believe she is one of the most inspiring and amazing picture book authors in these times of global awareness.


  1. Thank you so much, Kim, for the lovely review. I read your words and felt the urge to run and meet that person, and then realized it was me :) I love that picture of you in Africa, and am very curious to know where it was taken. And I very much look forward to "talking" with you.

  2. You're welcome Katia, my pleasure! I have lots of questions to ask you and look forward to our interview. :)
    My sister and I often talk about how exciting it would be to live abroad in another country with our families.... and you are living that dream!
    When i was 20, I traveled/backpacked down the West Coast of Africa, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau....
    This photo was taken in Banjul, the Gambia.
    Talk to you soon!


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