Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book, by Muriel Feelings, Ill. by Tom Feelings


Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5/5

Awards (1971/1972): Caldecott Honor Book; American Library Association Notable Children’s Book; School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year; Child Study Association Books of the Year

This informative book is about so much more than learning to count to ten in Kiswahili (which we learn from the book is the correct way to refer to the language, instead of “Swahili”).

Muriel Feelings and her husband, Tom Feelings, did a beautiful job of depicting life in East Africa. Each new number is accompanied by a double-spread black and white painting and a sentence providing many insights: from the types of instruments played to facts about the Nile River.

The book invites readers to engage with each page by learning to pronounce the Kiswahili numbers and getting just enough information about East African life to inspire curiosity to find out more.

If you are looking for a good book to get children ages 4-8  interested in other cultures and learning new languages, as well as acquire counting skills, I highly recommend this book.

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