Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pretty Salma by Niki Daly (Clarion Books)

The more we dig into the diverse and brilliant world of children's books, the more we like what we see. When a traditional and well known (and oft well-trodden) tale is given a complete cultural makeover and entwined deliciously with traditional tales from Africa, we can't possibly resist a peek.

"Pretty Salma" is, as the cover says, a little red riding hood story from Africa but before you think "Not another Red Riding Hood tale!" hold fast in your seat, because there's more than enough rich and vibrant allure in this book to ensure it stands on its own two (pretty yellow flip-flopped) feet.

Pretty Salma lives with her lovely Grandmother and her groovy Grandad. When Grandmother asks Pretty Salma to go to the market one day, she puts on her best wrap, her blue headscarf, her white beads and her yellow sandals and heads out to pick up some supplies.

Unfortunately, Pretty Salma does not heed her Grandmother's good advice not to talk to strangers, and is soon bedevilled and bewitched by a silver-tongued dog who takes rather a shining to Pretty Salma, and because she's a bit of a chatterbox, soon knows all about her and her Grandparents.

The dog is a nasty little trickster, and soon he shows his true nature, leaving Pretty Salma without her wrap, her scarf and her beads - stolen by the nasty dog so he can inveigle his way into Salma's household.

Only, there's one thing the dog can't emulate. Pretty Salma's beautiful singing. Will Grandmother see through his deception in time? Will Grandfather be able to help?

With brilliant illustrations that take their cues from African art, and some quite scary and surprising bits to keep your children entertained, this is definitely worth investigating.

Also, if you liked this, look out for our #ReadItMD13 Theme Week on "Diverse and Inclusive Books" next week. You're in for a real treat.

Charlotte's best bit: The dog flouncing around pretending to be a girl.

Daddy's favourite bit: Groovy Grandad and his truly awesome Anansi the Spider Costume


Anne-Marie said...

Heehee, you must have borrowed this from the library just after we returned it (after an extended loan!) ;-)

ReadItDaddy said...

Heh you could be right, we'd definitely never seen it before but couldn't pass it up. Often wonder how many times we 'cross' books :)

SWISS said...

Just read ths book itz brilliant. I absolutely love the pictures. I shared it with my lil' cuz and made the different voices,he enjoyed it :)