By Niki Daly (Jacana Media)

Guest reviewed by Isla, 7

What’s up Thoko! by Niki Daly is a collection of wonderful, every day events that occur in the life of Thoko, who lives with her Mama and beloved Gogo.

This book really appealed to my 7 year-old, who loves her Gogo dearly. It even inspired her to make her own little book about Thoko for her dolls. I loved the story about Thoko who goes on holiday with her granny . When it’s time to return, Mr Koza who has to collect them, has car trouble and they have to hitch a ride. They end up having a  wonderful time. I find their experience, which is very different to our experiences on holiday, very valuable to add to my daughter’s views of the world out there.  She loved it and wanted to read it again and again.

Author Note:

Niki Daly has won many awards for his work, most notably Not So Fast Songololo, which won a US Parents’ Choice Award, and paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Since then, he has published widely and given talks in several countries. Among his many books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner at the US Children’s Africana Book Awards, and Jamela’s Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book and by Booklist as one of the Top Ten African American Picture Books of 2000. In 2009 Niki was awarded the Molteno Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Other books include Nicholas and the Wild Ones; Thank you, Jackson; The Herd Boy; Pretty Salma; No More Kisses for Bernard and Ruby Sings the Blues.

Thoko’s laughter and positivity make her stories fun and accessible. The stories will cultivate the joy of reading in the hearts of children and the series is the perfect early chapter book for young girls.  What’s up! Thoko is the third book in the series with four easy-to read stories: Thoko’s Special Soup, Thoko’s Scary Night, Thoko’s Snail Garden and Thoko’s Holiday. Available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.



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