“Handa’s surprise” by Eileen Browne is one of the best culturally diverse picture books in the UK and suitable for children of early years.
As Handa, who’s part of the Luo tribe in south – west Kenya, puts seven different fruits in her basket to take to her friend Akeyo, various animals take the fruits away one by one. When she shares her basket with Akeyo, it’s Handa who gets the biggest surprise.
Our children were able to fill a basket with all the fruits mentioned in the story. They named and counted the fruits and animals, as each one of the fruits gets taken away by a different animal. This helped the children retell the story in the form of a creative storyboard with captions from the picture book. It, also, showed how important it is to share with your friends and feel happy and grateful with the goods you’re given. Finally, “Handa’s surprise” represents real life application to the young children as it shows different exotic fruits that may be grown in hot countries such as Africa. The illustrator, also, shows how the people of Africa carry the basket on their heads to bring food to their friends. Overall, a brilliant book for counting, naming and sharing, with colorful and engaging pictures.