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NF Picture Book
Pages: 32
Themes: birthdays, Africa
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Apr/2009
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Maddy’s trip to Africa was an experience she’ll never forget, and for reasons that might surprise you… This is the true story of Maddy, who was given a once-in-a-lifetime gift for her tenth birthday – to visit Tanzania with her photographer uncle, Alessandro. Maddy was impressed by the beautiful landscapes and the amazing animals she saw, but most of all she was struck by the wonderful people she met there. This is the story of Maddy’s trip, illustrated with photographs taken by her and her uncle. “People who have never been to Africa tend to see it as it’s reported in the media – either as a place of suffering or else a place where majestic animals wander in the wilds. Maddy didn’t come home feeling sorry for Africans, but instead totally excited about all the people she’d met and the different ways they lived.” – author Megan K. Williams Book includes sidebars with interesting facts about Tanzania – like how to say some basic words in Swahili and information about the African Elephant.

CM Magazine
Telling the story in the first person allows Maddy to share her feelings about what she is experiencing.
School Library Journal
While the lively text provides information on another culture, sidebars placed strategically on some pages provide additional facts on the Swahili language, the animals, and the nomadic peoples who reside in the area. The photographs are colorful and clear, helping readers visualize the region and encouraging close examination. Through relating her special trip, Maddy paints vivid images of what she was lucky enough to have experienced.
Kutztown University Book Review
[Maddy's Amazing African Birthday] is a much-appreciated departure from the traditional foreign country non-fiction books offered for this age group. It will make you wish you had an Uncle Alessandro of your own!

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