Stakeholders in Nigeria’s education sector have called for more local content in literature materials that will help develop the children to appreciate and fully understand their environment as they pursue their career.
This understanding was shared by a team of book reviewers at the launch of three literature books by Mrs. Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi to mark the celebration of the International World Book Day.
Talabi a former managing director of the Punch Commercial Printing Limited, a subsidiary of the Punch Newspapers and a publisher and founder of literature book publication company Clever Clogs, observed the lack of reading culture among Nigerian children.
Speaking at the launch of the sequence of Nigerian-themed children picture books, she said her findings also revealed inadequate supporting educational materials that would lay solid foundation for the Nigerian child.
According to her, In line with the 2018 theme for the World Book Day celebration ‘Share a Story’, the launch of the books will encourage a perfect story time and bonding session between parents and children, as well as assist their cognitive development.
She said “Many of the readily available and best promoted children’s books are from a different continent. These books tell their own stories, interpret the world through their own eyes and promote their own values. I write my books to tell our own stories, develop our own narrative and give our children wholesome protagonists who look like them and or live in their kind of environment. I want these books to be bedtime story favorites for children across the country.
Following the launch of these books, we will be embarking on a book tour to schools across Lagos where we will talk to children about the benefits of developing a healthy reading culture from an early age.”
Reviewing one of the books titled, ‘Tobi Visits The Conservatory’ the book reviewer Ali Baba said the book has the qualities of providing the children an engagement forum with parents and help them understand their fears and expectations.
“Books like this is certainly encouraging as it will help the average Nigerian child to be better informed, help them on time management as well as help them build friendship”, he said.
Reviewing the second book with the title, “The Diary Of A Toddler” Mrs. Abudu Ekum said the book is a good guide for parents to structure their children’s engagement and emphasizes on personal hygiene. “The book emphasizes on etiquette and mentally stimulating and promotes emotional creativity and development the child needs to advance in life”, she added.
In her remarks while reviewing the third literature book titled, “Kob The Antelope”, Mrs. Funke Fowler-Amba expressed disappointment that the average Nigerian child has lost the culture of reading as civilization which brought about internet, facebook and other social media platforms has made the children lazy.
She said that it is sad that the children no longer have good foundation which has contributed to the rot in the society.
The picture books The Tobi Series, Kob the Antelope and Diary of a Toddler focus on themes that help to develop an avid reading culture amongst children in Nigeria, using uniquely illustrated stories that depict activities or people in their environment.
Tobi Visits the Conservatory is the first in the series and a story about a Lagos family’s budget-friendly day out during the summer holidays. The book includes a map of Nigeria, the use of a calendar, days of the week, animals and their habitats. In addition to being entertaining, this book can be the basis of an interactive discussion about Lagos tourism, family bonding time and the role of conservation in society. The Tobi Series is recommended for children within the ages of 4-6 years.
Kob the Antelope is an inspiring short story about a young antelope called Kob who wanders away from his way home and gets ensnared by a devious hyena. He eventually manages to escape and finds his way back home. The story is set in a West African savanna and it teaches children about the importance of following the advice of a trusted parent over the flattery of a stranger. It is an illustrative tool for talking to young children about stranger danger. Kob the Antelope is designed for children within the ages of 6-8 years.
Diary of Toddler introduces the concept of time and sequencing to preschoolers using bright, colourful illustrations that tell the story of a little Nigerian girl and her daily adventures. Children see examples of good manners, good personal hygiene and wholesome activities for toddlers. Diary of Toddler, is recommended for children in playgroup, or within the ages of 2-4 years.