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Handa's Noisy Night

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The book features animals you don’t often see in stories such as a Pangolin or a Bush-Baby, this could be the first time that young children have come across these animals. The illustrations perfectly capture the scenes and the animals making them easy to make out. She was born in Birmingham in the United Kingdom and has been publishing amazing picture books since the 1980s. Today she's well known as the author of Handa's Surprise, as well as other children's stories which empathise different cultures and experiences from around the world. The location of the story is unknown to most readers and this opens up lots of discussionbetween children and adults: 'Where is it set?' (Kenya, in Africa), 'What's different to whereyou are?, 'Any zebras around?', 'Why is Handa carrying a basket on her head?' and 'Whydon't you carry things this way?' One of the most enjoyable elements for me has been discovering some of Kenya's animalsand fruits and this enthusiasm seems to have passed on to children and teachers. It'shumbling to visit schools and witness the wonderful work produced around this story –thedramas, fruit tastings and fabulous wall displays. So the book probably endures with thecombination of humour, the discovery of a different location and its capacity to inspireextended learning, including the tasting of delicious fruits. Writer-illustrator Eileen Browne talks about the enduring appeal of Handa's Surprise, and all about her new Handa adventure: Handa's Noisy Night. Handa’s Noisy Night is the third picture book in a series featuring a young girl called Handa who lives in Africa and is part of the Luo tribe in south-west Kenya. The writing is kept to a minimum and the font is large which will help new readers or those learning.

They include lovely illustrations of Handa and the exotic animals she encounters on her adventure. You might even be able to spot the crafty ostrich and zebra as they sneakily take pieces of fruit from out of her basket!I'm thrilled that Handa's Surprise is still going strong and have been asked what I think is itsenduring appeal. It's probably a combination of several different elements. The key to thebook is the "Look behind you!" joke running through the pictures, where the text pays noheed to the visual story of animals stealing fruit from Handa's basket. Young children delightin being in on the joke and probably want to warn her. Discovering Kenyan culture First, they hear a snorting sound. Akeyo says it must be her dad, who snorts when he laughs. Then they hear chattering, like grown-ups talking. There is rattling, and squeaking, and all sorts of noises that go on through the night. When they saw Akeyo’s parents they complained about all the noises they had been making but they were confused as they had been quiet as mice. If it wasn’t them who or what could it have been?

Gender and race must be intrinsically reflected in all children's media. If it isn't, childrengrow up seeing inequality as normal. So yes, diversity in picture books is very important. The story is quite beautiful and it is wonderful to see a young children’s picture book set in Africa and featuring diverse characters. Eileen Brown wrote and Handa's Surprise, and she created the beautiful illustrations for it too - what a talent! As they carried on playing more noises occurred and Akeyo had an answer for each one. Her mum playing the shaker, her grandad wheeling his bike. Eventually after a noisy night the girls fell asleep. This year I'm celebrating the 25th anniversary edition of Handa's Surprise and thepublication of Handa's Noisy Night.

It's also available to print in an ink-saving, eco-friendly format, making it easy for you to make the most of your printer toner while cutting down on your class's carbon footprint. Who wrote Handa's Surprise?

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