Anna Hibiscus

Written by:  Atinuke

Illustrated by: Lauren Tobia

Before Reading

K-W-L Chart

Anna Hibiscus is a book about a young girl who loves living in Africa with her large family. Work together to create a K-W-L chart that will help your child think about the story before you dive in. Under the "What I Know" section, write down your child's answers to questions like, "What can we learn from the cover of this book? What about the book's description on the back? Have you heard anything about this book?" In the "What I Would Like To Know" section, write about what your child would like to discover in this story like whether or not Anna Hibiscus will actually get to see snow, why she likes living with her whole family, and what it's like to live in Africa. 

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Make Predictions

Allow your child to make predictions about what will happen in the story by asking "What do you think will happen in this story?" You can even add an extra column for "Predictions" on your chart to keep track of which of your predictions are accurate.


As You Read

Take Turns Reading

Even if your child is able to read on his/her own, it is still beneficial for you to alternate reading pages or chapters. This will allow you to have discussions about the story as you go along, and enable your child to address any questions that s/he might have throughout the book. 

Vocabulary Building

As you and your child go through the story, encourage him/her to stop when s/he comes across a new word. Allow him/her to use context clues in the sentence to discover what a word might mean. An example of a new word in Anna Hibiscus is CASSAVA. 

Make Connections

Help your child connect to the story as you go along by asking how different events in the book may relate to events in your child's own life. For example, when Anna Hibiscus' family discusses how Auntie Comfort goes by another name, talk to your child about the significance of his/her name and whether or not s/he likes it. 


After Reading

Use these discussion questions to help your child think about the story you have just read, as well as how it relates to your child's life. 

Why did Anna Hibiscus like living with her whole family?

What happened when they went on their vacation?

Ask About Your Child's Life

Who lives in our home? Do you like having a big/small family? Why or why not?

Where is our family from? Are there any traditions that we have from our culture?

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. How is her life in Africa different from yours in _______?

Activity: Virtual Adventure to Nigeria

Tell your child that you are going to go on a virtual adventure to Nigeria! Use the internet to do some research on the country and its people and write down all of your findings! You can also print out pictures of interesting images that you might find and create a collage.

  1. Start off by planning what kinds of clothes you would pack! This would require you to learn about the climate and the different landscapes to figure out if you'll need some ski pants or some shorts.
  2. Next, discover what languages they speak to see if you will need to learn some new phrases.
  3. You can also try to learn about any interesting traditions or cultural differences that may exist. This includes the yummy foods that you would eat if you were there!
  4. Look at a map to see how far Nigeria is from where you live.

Use resources like National Geographic and Time for Kids to figure these things out! Go on to discover more countries throughout Africa and explain to your child that Africa is a vibrant continent made up of many different countries.