Illustrations: Mary K. Biswas made 2-dimension characters appear almost 3-dimensional. I loved the diversity in character development in race and gender. One child utilized crutches, but I longed to see one in a wheelchair since many children spend most of their lives in one. According to my daughter, some faces/heads seemed too big and long for a child’s body. Yeah, I can see her point. We both loved all the bold colors. Very eye-catching!
If you’re on the fence about buying the kindle or print edition of I Celebrate My Voice, maybe this following tidbit will sway your choice. After the story, Nonku Kunene Adumetey has included a “trace and color” page and a “How do you celebrate your voice?” color sheet with dotted lines for your child’s response.
Recommended age group: ages 3-7
Some text will be challenging for young readers to read by themselves. When the adult reads the story, there might be a few words young children won’t understand, and they will need to be defined: gracefully and steadily, as examples.
I highly recommend all parents/librarians/teachers add this story to their bookshelf!
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Nonkululeko Kunene Adumetey (also known as Nonku) is an award-winning author, loving wife and devoted mother of two happy toddlers. Her children both love singing, story time, and tasting home-cooked cuisines. When Nonku tastes delicious food, she hums a blissful tune, which she never realized until both her children started humming along.
Nonku was born in the Kingdom of Eswatini, where she lived until she was 16. She left to complete high school in Canada and later moved to the United States to pursue her college education.
Her passion is to inspire her children and all children to celebrate who they are, understand their differences are beautiful, know their diversity is a strength, and believe their voices are should be heard.
Her hero is her late father, Themba Micah Kunene, a man from humble beginnings who worked tirelessly to provide a full life for his eight children. Her father’s unconditional love, wisdom, selflessness, and work ethic inspire the core of Nonku’s principles and life mottos. One of his favorite mottos was “umtsentse uhlaba usamila”, a saying about a strong grass that gets deeply rooted during its early stages of development. The essence of this saying embodies the core of early intervention and teaching young minds early so that they grow up strong and informed about the world. This is what inspires Nonku to write children’s book, to inspire and empower young minds for a greater future.