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Jambo Means Hello - Book Review

This book gives a word in Swahili for each of the 24 letters in the Swahili alphabet. (The Swahili alphabet doesn't have the letters Q or X.) Along with each word is a pronunciation key and a short paragraph telling a little bit about the word and it's context in African society.

The Swahili language is spoken in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. It is the seventh most common spoken language in the world, spoken by approximatley 50 million people. Swahili is essentially a Bantu language that borrows words from other languages such as Portugeuse, Spanish, Arabic, English and German.

I liked everything about this book. The author not only gives a word with its meaning and pronunciation, but gives a paragraph about the word in an every day context. Each letter has two pages. The illustrator has created excellent pictures for each word. The pictures depict life in Africa. For example, there is a man painting a clay jar for the Swahili word gugulia. Also, in the picture are two people carrying clay jars on their heads and a large picture of a painted jar. The pictures are done with pencil and ink. They are black and white. There is a nice explanation of how the illustrator drew and painted his pictures at the end of the book.

Overall, this is a nicely done children's book and I highly recommend it.

Click to purchaseTitle: Jambo Means Hello, Swahili Alphabet Book
Author: Muriel Feelings
Illustrator: Tom Feelings
Number of Pages: 56
Reading Level: Preschool
Publishing Company: Dial Books for Young Readers
Original Publishing Date: 1974



I borrowed this copy of Jambo Means Hello, Swahili Alphabet Book from my library.

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