Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa, amazing Africa.
What a sweet, sweet series of books this is by Atinuke, a Nigerian author. These are easily my favorite of the chapter books that Maia and I have read together so far (and I suspect her favorite as well). During the time that we've been reading these, she's frequently said that she wished she were Anna Hibiscus and was always, always impatient to read more.
The stories feature a young girl who lives in Africa with her African father, Canadian mother, her twin baby brothers, Double and Trouble, her grandmother and grandfather, her aunts and uncles, and all of her many cousins. The stories are interesting, well told, and usually feature a gentle lesson, about things like family, class, tradition, slowing down, and courage.
The wonderful, personable illustrations are by Lauren Tobia. The stories could stand on their own, but boy, the illustrations sure add a lot (and especially for a five year old).
Finishing the last Anna Hibiscus story was bittersweet. We both wish there were more books in the series. I see that Atinuke's written another book called The No 1 Car Spotter that we will seek out. And we will definitely keep an eye out for anything else that she writes.
By the way, I noticed that these books are out of stock on Amazon (although used copies are available). I bought mine as a set of four at a friend's Usborne book party (They are published by Kane-Miller which is now owned by Usborne). You can buy the set here from my Usborne seller if you like.