This year, we plan to offer an alphabet of authors- and our first is- Atinuke, storyteller and author.
I saw Atinuke in 2012 and was completely captivated by her story telling. I have seen many story tellers in action over my years of teaching and going to literature festivals and she is one of the best!
I also heard her read from her 'No 1 Car Spotter' books- although it is more true to say that she 'told' the sections she read as her skill to bring the stories to life was as strong when reading as storytelling.
The No 1 car spotter is Oluwalase Babatunde Benson- but everyone calls him No 1 because he is so good at spotting cars- a much favoured hobby amongst the men of his village, if not the women. No 1 lives in a village in an unspecified county on the continent of Africa.
On the continent of Africa, you will find my country. In my country there are many cities, all with skyscrapers, hotels, offices. There are also many smaller towns, all with tap water and electricity and television. Then there is my village, where we only talk about such things...
Atinuke draws on her Nigerian background to make these stories really come to life.The stories capture the essence of village life and are rich with wonderful characters, like Coca-Cola, No 1's 'tight friend' and Grandfather. They are perfect for younger readers with their short chapters and lively illustrations throughout.
There are several books about No 1 now and Atinuke also writes about Anna Hibiscus. These stories are also set in Africa where she lives with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family.
Atinuke writes lovely stories with vivid backdrops and entertaining characters. If you haven't tried her books yet, make sure you do. And, if you ever have a chance to hear her perform- make sure you go!
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
The No 1 car Spotter by Atinuke, illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell
Walker ISBN: 978-1406320770
The No 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird
Walker ISBN: 978-1406320787
The No 1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves
Walker ISBN: 978-1406320800
The No 1 Car Spotter Goes to School
Walker ISBN: 978-1406342925
The No 1 Car Spotter and the Broken Road
Walker ISBN: 978-1406343465
The No 1 Car Spotter Fights the Factory