Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review - Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari


Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari

Written and Illustrated by: Dana Sullivan
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1585369058
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 2014

Kay Kay was walking past the grass huts in Bungoma and soon arrived at the Star of Hope school. It was a new school and the children danced around them and pulled at his hands. “Kay Kay, look at our new classroom!” Ah, ha! There was something missing, but Kay Kay couldn’t think of what it was. He smiled as he discovered just what it was. “Your bright, white wall could use some pictures,” he told them. Naturally what that wall needed was animals, all kinds of them. Animals from A to Z would be just perfect, but Kay Kay was going to have to put on his thinking cap.

Kay Kay began to walk around the fields of Bungoma. Surely something would come to mind. As he was walking, he ran across a friend. “Why, hello, friend Ant,” Kay Kay said as he leaned down to talk to Ant. There was no way he could stay and talk because he was trying to think. Just what kind of A to Z animals could he paint on that wall? Baboon, Crocodile, and Dragonfly asked him to dance. No way Kay Kay could dance because he was trying to think. Elephant, Fox, and Giraffe invited Kay Kay to tea. “No tea for me,” he explained, “I’m looking for animals from A to Z.” Just what kind of animals was Kay Kay going to paint on that wall?

This is a charming animal A to Z animal tale that young children will love. Of course they will easily see that Kay Kay is talking to those very animals who should go on the Star of Hope school’s classroom wall. The animals dance though the pages trying to get Kay Kay to play with them, but no go until he gets his thinking done. The critter artwork is very lively, especially a centerfold that features all of them. This fictional tale is, in part, based on the Star of Hope school near Bungoma, Kenya. There’s an author’s note that talks about the school along with photographs of the children. There’s a mini-dictionary of Swahili words and phrases in the back of the book.

Quill says: This is a fun, adventurous book of Kay Kay, a Kenyan boy, and his search for those A to Z animals that will give little ones a case of the giggles!