Tuesday, 16 May 2017

What’s cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly reviewed by Chitra Soundar

It’s Christmas and even if it doesn’t snow in South Africa for Christmas, a chicken meal at the centre of the table is a must. Well that’s what everyone tells Jamela. But Jamela has named her chicken Christmas. And you  know what happens when you name farm animals – they become friends. And of course you can't eat them.

In this wonderfully authentic story that charts the hilarious adventure of Jamela and her chicken Christmas, we run through the township, meet wonderful characters, hear African dialects and words in context, and worry for the chicken.

The Jamela series by Niki Daly, published by Frances Lincoln are enduring stories that show us the life of people we are less familiar with – but not with a moral or a lesson about life in South Africa or showcasing the poverty like charity ads do – these celebrate life. These show characters in-situ and show us how these characters are just like us, even though they are far away, they speak a different language and wear colourful clothes (which I absolutely love).
These stories also remind me of the young graphic novel that Flying Eye Books translated from French – Akissi – of the little girl in an African township, running on barefeet, bringing trouble and solving problems.

Did or did they not eat chicken for Christmas? Did they eat Christmas the chicken? Maybe you will read and find out and also find other Jamela books out there.




Rowena House said...

What a fun book! Hope it does brilliantly.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Hi Chitra. Yes Jamela is a spirited character and the illustrations are lively. I know Niki well. Would you like me to pass this on to him or have you already sent it on?

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