When Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen decided to take their first holiday to Africa together in their 70’s, the experience was not only amazing, but life changing.
I read this book with my Grandsons and before they opened it, the first thing they wanted to know is “Who are Bibi and Babu? Of course I couldn’t tell them, however we soon discovered that they are the Swahili names for Grandma and Grandpa.
Sitting together, reading the story, it seemed as if we were sitting with Bibi and Babu, looking at their 2013 Africa holiday album, it was lovely to see so many natural photos.
The book starts with an introduction to Africa, and then Bibi and Babu set off for their adventure in Tanzania and Kenya. As we worked our way through the book, the children loved seeing and learning about other children who live a totally different life, on the other side of the world. They were especially fascinated finding out about the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre in Pasua, Tanzania and the work which goes on there.
Being children who are bought up with animals, seeing the amazing African animals in their natural setting was a part of the book they loved, and I was pleased that it gave me the opportunity to explain how important conservation is for their continued survival.
This is a lovely book for children. For me, the most important part of it was that there were no cartoon animals and imaginary places which don’t exist, this couple’s journey was real. By being presented as it is, it makes Africa, it’s peoples and wild life come to life in a believable way, and teaches children, whether they are read it, or read it themselves, the wonders of the real world.
Oh, and Babu won the respect of our two little boys, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why!
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