Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin

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Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: Tired of Disney style princesses and helpless damsels in distress? If so Akissi may be just what you are looking for.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1909263017

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Many parents are becoming upset with the over sexualisation of female characters in children's films and books. I know many are also fed up with the stereotyped princess character. If you are looking for a book for a little girl who doesn't suit the stereotypes, Akissi is absolutely perfect. In addition to breaking stereo types in children's literature, this book gives children a first hand look at life in another country. I have often read that children exposed to stories of other cultures usually grow up more tolerant. Whether it is the stories themselves, or simply the type of parent who chooses that type of story, I don't know. Still I have always gone out of my way to make sure my children have books which depict children from a wide variety of locations and cultures. This book gives the reader a very realistic vision of what life in Africa might be like. Best of all though, this book lets the children just be children. They don't look like adults and they don't act like adults. I think we need more books like this.

This book reads just like a comic book. I immediately thought of a female version of Dennis the Menace. Each picture frame is bright and colourful and matches the text very well. The illustrator has also captured emotion very well in the facial expressions of characters and a child could enjoy this story very much from the illustrations even if they were not able to decode all of the words. This helps keep reading fun while children develop the necessary skills to decode more complex text and experts are now beginning to recognise how much comic-style books really do help children develop reading skills.

Akissi is the complete opposite of so many female main characters. She is bold and brash, confident in herself and has a slight sense of mischief. She forces her way in to play football with the boys, climbs trees and gets into fights. This certainly would have been a character after my own heart as a child. The book is full of humour, and has enough ewww moments to keep the boys laughing.

It does have one section that some parents may find too shocking though. There is one episode in this book in which Akissi gets tapeworm. I never would have dreamed in a million years to find a children's story with tapeworm. My sons love gross and disgusting things and with all of their Zombie books and films I wouldn't have thought they would shock easily. The look of stunned horror on their faces was priceless. The ending of this story had them clutching their sides with laughter. If your children like the gross and disgusting, and find toilet scenes amusing, then I am happy to recommend this book. We have such a huge collection of books that are really value books that dare to be different. This book certainly wins top marks in that regard. If however, you feel children's books should have a certain sense decorum and that girls should act like little ladies, this book will most definitely not be to your liking. I would also not recommend to a child who becomes distressed at the thought of creepy crawlies as the thought of such creatures invading human bodies might be a bit too much.

If this book appeals then you could also have a look at:

Akimbo and the Snakes by Alexander McCall Smith

One Night, Far From Here by Julia Wauters

Babar's Celesteville Games by Laurent de Brunhoff

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Buy Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin at Amazon.com.


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