Select one of the keywords
Kenya's Word    by Linda Trice & Pamela Johnson order for
Kenya's Word
by Linda Trice
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Kenya is an African-American child whose teacher gives the class assignments to find the right words for favorite objects, such as food or animals. Kenya often misunderstands the assignment, bringing in a live tarantula instead of just the word tarantula, or, instead of just the word ice cream, she brings in the real thing, which promptly melts all over the place and creates minor chaos.

Kenya's teacher, Mrs. Garcia, then asks the class to reveal their favorite descriptive word. Kenya agonizes over this all weekend - there are so many wonderful words from which to choose!

That weekend, she and her father visit a family friend, an artist, who shows Kenya how to mix colors to reveal new ones. She is captivated. He then shows her that when he mixes all the colors of the rainbow, he can create the color black. Suddenly Kenya knows what her favorite descriptive word is: black. Black, her father points out to her, is the color of the earth's rich soil, and the color of some piano keys. Back in school, Kenya's classmates and teacher give other examples of things that are black and beautiful, such as shiny party shoes and a velvety night sky.

The book wisely preaches racial tolerance and acceptance of oneself, and even if that may go over the heads of many youngsters, their parents will likely appreciate this message.

The watercolor illustrations are colorful and cheerful. In keeping with the theme of the book, the children in Kenya's classroom are portrayed as multi-cultural, with many ethnicities represented. Kenya's Word is a well-written book on an important subject matter.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews