This gorgeous picturebook follows Baby and Mama as they wander through a busy, colourful West African market. Mama is busy making sure she gets all she needs. Baby is busy charming all the stallholders and ends up with lots of tasty treats of his own! Atinuke’s strong background in oral storytelling certainly informs her written words. The patterned, repetitive and lyrical text make this the perfect book for a shared read aloud with toddlers.
Baby’s little adventure at the market also provides a simple introduction to counting for very young children. Baby gets six bananas, eats one and places five in his Mama’s basket. He gets five juicy oranges, sucks on one and places four in the basket, etc. My two-year-old loves counting along as Baby acquires more and more delicious food. Little readers will also delight in Baby mischievously placing his wares into his Mama’s basket while she carries on, oblivious to his antics.
I’ve never been to a West African market, but Angela Brooksbank’s striking illustrations certainly made me feel like I had been enveloped in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a bustling, vibrant and exotic place. I love the colourful and patterned clothing of the characters throughout. This is quite simply a delicious book from start to finish. It would be a super addition to any toddler’s library.