Good Luck Anna Hibiscus!; Have Fun Anna Hibiscus!
written by Atinuke; illustrated by Lauren Tobias
(Kane Miller) 2011; Publication on March 1, 2011
Source: Review copies provided by the publisher
Anna Hibiscus is back in two new books (at least new to the U.S.) and the stories are just as charming as in the first two books. In Good Luck Anna Hibiscus!, Anna and her large extended family are preparing to send her on a visit to Granny Canada so Anna can visit her mother's homeland. Cold and wintry Canada is very different from tropical Africa, so Anna's family has a lot to do to get her ready. Each of the four sequential stories in the book contain lessons learned through the lens of a loving African family. In Have Fun Anna Hibiscus!, Anna goes to Canada to visit her grandmother and learns new life lessons in a different culture. Spending time with Granny Canada and her dog Qimmiq gives Anna an expanded perspective on life and a new appreciation for both Canada and Africa.
The Anna Hibiscus series of short chapter books have been some of the most satisfying books that I have read recently. Rich characters and settings abound in these stories. Anna is a winning protagonist who is not perfect, but always seeking to do good. Her family, in Africa and Canada, are loving, warm people who are funny and opinionated. You will want to read both of these books so you can compare the two cultures and observe the changes in Anna's thinking. The conflict between the old and the modern will make for interesting discussion with your students. These books would also be great mentor texts for how setting affects the plot of a story.
Other reviews of Anna Hibiscus:
Great Kid Books