Sunday, August 12, 2018

Review: Jabulani by Jonathan J. Stotler, Illustrated by Beth Restrick

by Jonathan J Stotler
Illustrated by Beth Restrick
WestBow Press
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 and up

A boy in Southern Africa learns how the little ways that he helps his family and friends can add up to big rewards and that no matter how small you are, you can accomplish big things. In doing so, Jabulani introduces his culture from the Ndebele tribe of the Republic of South Africa to other children through this story of a week in his life.


This story gives a glance into the daily life of a boy growing up in the Ndebele tribe, and the people around him.

Jabulani is a boy in the Republic of South Africa and lives in the Ndebele tribe. He assists is various family members with their daily chores—making bricks and loading carts for the market. With his friends, Jabulani attends school and shows how all work together in almost every aspect of life, making a loving and warm community.

Young listeners/readers are invited to take a walk through the day (actually two days) of Jabulani's life. It begins with a basic description of the buildings and village before diving right into Jabulani's family. The focus lands on the various activities each person has and how they work together. Jabulani's readiness to help is not only natural, but expresses his satisfaction by joining in. It's a wholesome setting, which makes it clear how working together can bring happiness along with the work.

The illustrations have a very personal touch which fits wonderfully to the setting and story. Jabulani's world is introduced with bright colors and just enough details for young listeners/readers to see how the people in his culture live.

The text isn't for the youngest of readers, although the vocabulary is simple enough. The information is delivered clearly and in a way, listeners can relate to while learning about the differences Jabulani's life has when compared to their own. It's a little long for a 'night time read', but fits nicely to more educational settings or times when the adults' goal is to introduce this culture to listeners. Especially homeschoolers and teachers would find this book useful. There's a question section at the end to encourage discussion as well as a glossary for more difficult terms. Since this book also is designed for Christian settings, there are two Bible verses at the end which nicely accompany Jabulani's world.

I received a complimentary copy from Booklook Bloggers.

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