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.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8NXmyZ20DE&w=560&h=315]

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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