Monday, January 19, 2009

Afternoon with Amadi

Before Christamas I ran a two hour workshop with a small group of 11 children at Giunti Bookstore in Lerici. The workshop was dedicated to Katia Novet Saint Lot's book Amadi's Snowman illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo (Tilbury House). The workshop started with exploring Amadi's World through a hand made Tree Book (to some of the partecipants I previousely assigned them to find pictures, cut them nd stick them on the orange pages of the tree ) through which pages I introduced the children into Amadi's world: let's turn the pages together.

Shali, Virginia, Florin and Monika introducing to the Tree Book

The cover was lovely welcomed by the children, it shows all small paper handmade books representing children's literature's classics sourrounding AMADI'S SNOWMAN (that is a good wish for you Katia and Dimitrea that your book may become part of the history of children's books).

Amadi's Snowman and the others...

Here the first page, where children where introduced to Amadi's World, there is the Nigerian Map, the African Map, The Nigerian Flag and most popular tribes and languages... they could not believe about the hude nuber of languages spoken in Nigeria!!!!

Where is Amadi?

Here the second page illustrating Foods, Religion and Habits.

Daily Life - Foods

Music and Celebrations

Here children enjoyed talking about their favorite feasts and instruments.

Traditional costumes and artcrafts

They were all amazed by the gorgeous hair creative wrappings and also discussed about the role and meaning of the masks.

WHO? Famous people from Nigeria
Wole Soyinka - Chinua Achebe, Princess Aminatu, Olaudah Equiano and of course Dimitrea Tokunbo and Katia Novet Saint-Lot

Nothing to say... Princess Aminata captured their attention ... but also surprisingly Olaudah Equiano who struggled against slavery


After introducing the children to Amadi 's World, I started reading the book and they were all very attentive and at the end they all wanted to share their ideas about this story.

I liked Amadi's story because at the end he changes idea about reading and decides he wants to learn how to read. FLORIN MMAKA

I love this story because this afternoon I've met another child from another country and also Mrs Chikodili who cares about him. VIRGINIA BRACCO

I loved Amadi because he is able to change idea and his mom is happy for this. CHIARA BONTEMPI

I liked Amadi because is an Igbo and didn't know about Igbo people before. SHALI MMAKA

I enjoyed Amadi's story beacuse if you don't know how to read you cannot learn and if you cannot learn you cannot travel. MARISA CIURLI

Amadi is not a boy who easily takes decisions, he thinks and then feel that something is missing . LUISA CHIAMPARINO

I enjoyed Amadi because his story shows how you can get passionate of something. MONIKA MARKU

The time to draw and focus their artistical veine came ...

Amadi holding his book

Mrs Chokodili showing Amadi the Snowman book

Mrs Chikodili and Amadi

Amadi and his friends

Celebrating Amadi

Mrs Chikodili

Here children has been impressed by the role Mrs Chikodili played in the story and I think they are right. She is a very important character.

Dear Amadi...

Children wrote short messages to Amadi suggesting him books to read

(obviousely some don't have an English version)

Dear Amadi, My name is Virginia. Finally you went to school like us. I suggest you to read Gianni Rodari, he is a great author. He wrote so many funny stories , I read them and I enjoyed, I hope you'll like it too. What is your favorite book? I like Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Geronimo Stilton, Mary Poppins and Gianni Rodari. VIRGINIA BRACCO

Dear Amadi, my name is Monika and I come from Albania. I'm very happy you learned how to read and that you now attend the school. Are you happy to be in school? How many new freinds do you have? I would like to meet you once. Ciao or... better Kodi or if you wish in Albania we say Pacim. MONIKA MARKU

Dear Amadi, I'm Marisa and never been to Africa. I'd like to meet you and also visit your village. I like reading adventourous books and also "Fairy Oak" series. Do you know them? Is your mum reading stories? MARISA CIURLI

Dear Amadi, I come from Morocco. Today we have read the book that talks about you. It has been so emotionally. Today I've also learned things about your country. I will sugegst you a book by Gianni Rodari "Favole al telefono" and "Alice in the wonderlands". Here are my questions: What books do you like to read? How is your school? Thank you for sahring with us your adventures. ILHAM EL ESNAOUI

Dear Amadi, I'm Aisha and comes from Africa too, exactly from Kenya. I'm eight and would like to know: do you like orange juice? What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite color? What's your father's name? I recently read Tom Sawyer and enjoyed it. Kodi - AISHA MMAKA

Dear Amadi, this year I enjoy reading funny stories, sometimes I get bored because the story is slow and I get confused if there are so many characters. I like to read mistery books like the Brividosi. CHIARA BONTEMPI

Here are some of the 11 partecipants at work (I 'could only publish the photos of the children I've been given the permission by their parents... sorry for this).

Shali and Ilham drawing Amadi

Aisha Florin Monika Shali answering "Why reading is important"?

Inside Amadi's book . Virginia turning the pages

Ilham and Aisha writing to Amadi

Then as you can imagine the discussion grew and we tried to focus on why is important reading for them. So we completed the last page of the Tree Book .

Children saying Kodi to Amadi

Virginia Bracco - Reading is important because you learn many things

Shali Mwanalulu Mmaka - Reading is knowledge and also you can meet many different people

Monika Marku - When I read I go inside the book and live the adventure

Aisha Mmaka

Reading means travelling and discovering many things. I like reading many times the books I loved. I don't understand how reading can be boring for someone?

Momi (Mohammed) is the only boy ...lucky Amadi is there!

I want to learn...

Florin Mmaka

When I read I feel good. I suggest all the children to read

Ilham El Esnaoui - Reading is adventure and fun. When I read a sad story that ends up in a nice way I feel happy. Some books end up in a bad way and I feel sad.

Bye Bye Katia and Dimitrea

And thank's to...

Katia Novet Saint-Lot and Dimitrea Tokunbo for their lovely story
Sarah Mc Ginnis at Tilbury for sending the book in time
Signor Giorgio, director of Giunti Bookstore in Lerici who hosted this event and gifted each kid with a lovely colorful blanket
The children who partecipated Virginia Bracco (8), Aisha Mmaka (8), Monika Marku (10), Mohammed El Esnaui (5), Florin Mmaka (9), Ilham El Elsnaoui (8), Shali Mmaka, Chiara Bontempi (8), Luisa Chiamparino (10), Marisa Ciurli (8).
And last but not least Thank you Amadi to have spent a lovely afternoon with us talking about Africa and how lovely is reading books. And also very soon you'll be invited once again to meet other children who will surely become your friends.


Zetta Elliott said...

Looks like a wonderful event, and their artwork is impressive! Keep up the great work!

Katia said...

How very moving, Valentina. Thank you so much. I especially liked the pictures showing Mrs. Chikodili. Wonderful ! Thanks again for your support, your creativity, and thank you to all the children. I'll post a link on my blog.

seaheidi said...

Wonderful site!

I will also link you on my blog and spread the word. I am friends with many authors who may donate books to your cause.

All best,

Heidi R. Kling
SEA, Putnam 2010

Kabiliana said...

THank you Zetta, children always like to be stimulated in reading and listening new stories, different from the ones they are used to and they really enjoy when they can interact and contribute in realizing something creative... thank's for passing by.:)

Kabiliana said...

Hi Katia, I'm happy you enjoyed the work the children did on your book. They really had a nice time with Amadi and I'm sure many other children will.

Kabiliana said...

Hi Heidi, thank you for linking Kabiliana and also for supporting the cause. The word of mouth is very important to us and we'd love to bring books where there are no.Thank you Heidi:)

Lori Calabrese said...


That looked like sooo much fun! What a wonderful cause!


Kabiliana said...

Thank you Lori, you're right it was fun. Children always surprise you with their excitement and curioisity and you never end up those kind of meetings without learning something from them:)

Dimitrea said...

Thank you so much for this lovely event. I thought that the children gave some really good advice and their artwork is very good. I'm glad that Amadi has some new friends and now I do too. Peace.

Kabiliana said...

Thank you Dimitrea for passing by. I'm happy you enjoyed the work too. I agree when you say children give good advices, I believe they often have the gift to know what is "good". Wish you all the best for your next works. Amani to you.