by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2013.
Look at this! is a new series for preschoolers set in Mali by author and photographer Ifeoma Onyefulu. The author lives in England and is from Nigeria. The books are illustrated with bright photographs of everyday objects (Home) and everyday games and toys (Play). The clean design shows the object itself and how it is used on the facing page. I especially like the pictures of children in Play and Clothes. Brief explanations in the beginning explain some of the games, the mix of African and Western clothing, and other notes about why the author made certain choices. There are not many books that feature contemporary, everyday African life so these are a welcome addition.
I met Oneyfulu at the IBBY Regional Conference in St. Louis in the fall of 2013. She told a very exciting story about being in Timbuktu at a very pivotal time. She had a shorter time than expected, but fortunately she was able to travel safely. And to take some amazing photographs to illustrate these books.