Katia Novet Saint-Lot
Illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo
Hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-88448-298-7
9 x 10, 32 pages, color illustrations
"An important addition to any library, this offering fills a necessary niche for current-day stories from other cultures and focuses attention on reading as an important and satisfying accomplishment."
—School Library Journal
"Purposeful yet without the heavy didacticism of some books on the topic of literacy, this tale shines a welcome light on cultural differences."
"Children will enjoy reading about Amadi's life in the village, depicted in the earth-toned, intimate scenes. It's a nice reversal that young children will be able to grasp—what looks exotic and faraway to one person is a place where someone else lives."
"Dimitrea Tokunbo of Nigerian heritage illustrates the story with authenticity. The browns, greens, and oranges give a warm feeling to the issue of reading...the author makes the point well of the necessity of reading for life."
"Amadi's Snowman is a beautiful tribute to the power of reading and one boy's journey of self-discovery through books. Dimitrea Tokunbo's evocative illustrations underscore the loving interchange between a mother and son. The richly hued paintings invite us to enjoy Nigeria's many splendors and provide the perfect stage for Katia Novet Saint-Lot's imaginative story."
—Andrea Davis Pinkney, Coretta Scott King Honor Author of Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
"Katia Novet Saint-Lot has given us an important and moving glimpse into the curiosity, wonder, and knowledge a book can bring—and into the life of children in modern African cities. As Yohannes Gebregeorgis, founder of Ethiopia Reads, says, 'Books change lives.' How terrific to have a story that shows how and why."
—Jane Kurtz, children's book author
"Amadi's first-ever glimpse at a snowman—one depicted in the pages of a book—inspires him to transform from a resistant to an enthusiastic student of reading. Children will identify with Amadi's initial reluctance, his mixed feelings about a new challenge, and his attempts to rationalize staying the same. Yet they also will likely be inspired, as Amadi is, by the possibilities of reading, the way it can fill one's heart and shine a light on the unknown."
—Cynthia Leitich Smith, children's book author
Why does Amadi's mother insist he learn to read words when he is going to be a great businessman? Why should an Igbo man of Nigeria waste precious time on books, anyway? When Amadi disobeys his mother and runs off to the market instead of sticking around for a reading lesson, he encounters a much-admired older boy secretly reading at a book stall. Crowding himself in among the stacks of books, Amadi becomes intrigued by a storybook with pictures of a strange white creature with a carrot for a nose. Over the course of a typical mischievous day, unable to shake his questions about the snowman, Amadi discovers the vast world reading could open up—especially for an Igbo man of Nigeria.
Author Katia Novet Saint-Lot grew up in Paris but spent her summers visiting her mother's family in Spain. She also lived in the U.K and the U.S. Her husband's work for UNICEF took them to Nigeria and provided the background for Amadi's story. They now live in India with their two daughters. As a child, Katia loved reading more than anything else. She also dreamed of becoming a writer and longed for travels to faraway places—she's now busy living her dreams with her family. For more about Katia: katianovetsaintlot.wordpress.com, www.twitter.com/scribblykatia
Illustrator Dimitrea Tokunbo brings to life the day-to-day experiences of life in Nigeria, where her father grew up. "I want to represent the beauty of all children. I feel that growing up biracial, having a direct connection to two different cultures in the American context, gives my art a spirit and spark that speaks to the children who were overlooked when I was a child." Dimitrea illustrated two children's books for Boyds Mills Press, Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Has Anybody Lost a Glove? by G. Francis Johnson. Dimitrea has written one children's book for Cartwheel Books (a Scholastic imprint), Together, illustrated by Jennifer Gwynne Oliver, and is the author of The Sound of Kwanzaa, illustrated by Lisa Cohen, published by Scholastic. Dimitrea enjoys visiting schools and libraries to share her stories with children. She lives in New York City with her two daughters.
Tilbury House, Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue
Gardiner, Maine 04345
(Please click on "Focused Reading" on the left sidebar to see our books listed by category.)