Day 10: Atinuke

Author and storyteller Atinuke’s delightful and award-winning ANNA HIBISCUS and NO. 1 CAR SPOTTER books are truly a deep breath of fresh air in the world of children’s literature. Anna Hibiscus lives in “amazing Africa” with her extended family in a wonderful house in a beautiful garden in a big city. Oluwalase Babatunde Benson is known as “No.1 car spotter” by friends and family because he can identify every make of car that goes by on the busy road that passes the village. Atinuke’s sharply-drawn characters, her loving attention to detail and sense of place, and her buoyant sense of humour shine on every page of these chapter books.

Atinuke was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, where she “wanted firstly and desperately to be a Boy, then an Adventurer, and lastly, An Author.” She decided to become a reader, and then a storyteller. “I got through the trials and tribulations of life by escaping into books and making up stories in my head. My journal stayed with me through all my adventures, crammed with poetry and reflections and questions.”

After a stint at boarding school, adventures in England, France, Germany and Spain, a bout of illness led Atinuke to write ANNA HIBISCUS. Atinuke’s nuanced tales, called “memorable and enchanting”, explore issues of class, family, and tradition with love; and they invite readers to explore “different ways of living, different ways of viewing the world all without preaching, judgement and without feeding stereotypes.”

For more of Atinuke, visit Mitali Perkins’ blog and an interview at Playing By The Book.

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4 Responses to Day 10: Atinuke

  1. tadmack says:

    I have heard SO much love for this whole series, and was sort of surprised that it is gaining so much acceptance with mainstream book critics and with readers. I think the trick is the phrase, “Amazing Africa.” If Anna loves Africa, and loves her culture and her people and her family and friends, clearly everyone else ought to do so. The author’s affection for the world comes through her writing clearly. I’m so glad that Atinuke was included in the list of those honored this month.

  2. Discover “Amazing Africa” with Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke. And if you like these little books, you’ll LOVE her No 1 Car Spotter series!

  3. Zoe says:

    I’m a massive fan of Atinuke’s books and have been arguing vociferously for her Good Luck Anna Hibiscus which was shortlisted in the Early Chapter category of the Cybils. Winners are announced next week so my fingers are crossed.

  4. [...] Angel’s Grace (YA) February 9 – TL Clarke The Secret of the Scarlet Stone (MG) February 10 – Atinuke Hooray for Anna Hibiscus (MG) February 11 – Bryan Collier BBS Vanguard (PB) February 12 – Earl [...]

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