Books by Antinuke

Finding books that connect young readers from rural New Hampshire to life across the country and the world is challenging.  Atinuke takes on that challenge.

She is the author of three series for 7-to 9-year old readers.  Each one brings readers to the country of her birth, Nigeria and helps them discover a bit of what it is like to live there.  Some of Atinuke’s characters live in city and others live in rural settings – all of them reflect her own young life. 

Atinuke is a storyteller.  Her voice bursts from the pages of her books.  Each is a joy to read.  The language sings in your mind or as you read it aloud.   The stories bring both the setting and characters to life.  I appreciate the repeated refrain at the start of each chapter connecting readers to the story and reminding them of what they already know.  

Too Small Tola is the first book in her newly launched series.  Tola lives with her Grandmommy, her sister and her brother in a rundown apartment house in the megacity of Lagos.  Tola and her sister really like school, her brother, not so much.  Moji, who is very clever, works hard at her studies.  She is hoping to be a doctor one day.  Dapo, who is very fast, hopes to be a futbol player – or a car mechanic.  Tola, who is small, is determined and strong.  Together with Grandmommy (who is very bossy,) they are a family.  They make best of what they have.

Readers will have the chance to consider the gifts of running water, electricity and schooling for all. They will be reminded of what it means to be small, youngest and seemingly unnoticed.  When readers look closer, they’ll find the joys each of those circumstances brings.    

The No.1 Car Spotter series shares the challenges and opportunities to be found when living in rural Nigeria.  I love sharing the tales of Oluwalase Babatunde Benson – the No. 1 Car Spotter in his village… in the world with my third graders and they loved him.

Anna Hibiscus is the main character of Atinuke’s third series.  She lives in a compound with her family.  They are separated from the city and the variety that surrounds them.


What authors have you found who share understanding of different cultures and places with your readers?  What books do you share to help children learn more about our world?

Happy Reading!📚

Princess Cora and the Crocodile

Born as perfect as a snowflake with gorgeous blue eyes and dainty pearl pink toes, Princess Cora would one day become queen.  Her parents, The King and The Queen are determined that she be fully prepared.  Anxiety takes over and they develop a strict and unwavering schedule:  hours of boring lessons with ghastly dull readings, hours of exercise and laps in the converted dungeon, and three baths a day – being clean is important!  There are no days off.   There is no time for fun, and Princess Cora is absolutely sick of it.  In desperation she writes to her Fairy Godmother.

“Dear Godmother,

Nobody listens to me.  My mother and father won’t let me have a pet and Nanny says I don’t even want one.  But I do.  And I’m sick and tired of everything.  

Please help me.


  Princess Cora

Then she tore the letter into scraps and dropped them out the window.  But because it was a letter to her fairy godmother, every scrap turned into a white butterfly and flew away.”

Princess Cora wakes up to find a box at the foot of her bed with holes punched in it so something could breathe.  Opening the box, Princess Cora finds a scaly and green … crocodile.  They plan to switch places.  Princess Cora will have the day off for adventuring, and the crocodile, willing to fill in for CREAM PUFFS, will spend the day following the royal routine.

The Princess has a perfectly wonderful day.   Crocodile, Nanny, The Queen and The King do not!  Lessons are ultimately learned all the way around.  While it remains important for a future Queen to be clean, informed and strong, it is also important that the future queen have time to play, relax and enjoy the love of her very own fluffy, golden dog.

Laura Amy Schlitz’ writing, as always, is superb.That writing here is beautifully complimented by the illustrations of Brian Floca.  They go together perfectly.  What a fun book to read-aloud (or read on your own.)  I imagine even fourth and fifth graders will appreciate the havoc and humor the crocodile brings to the castle during a classroom read-aloud. The story will provide lots of opportunity to examine over scheduled lives and create plans to address them.

A prefect joy!  (I confess to being quite a fan of Laura Amy Schlitz  – reading her books is a joy.  I’ve loved them all! Here are some I think you might enjoy too. Her books are remarkably diverse.)



Happy Reading!📚