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Who cares?

BY: Nii Addokwwei Moffatt
Who cares?
Nii Addokwwei Moffatt

Reviewer: Nii Addokwwei Moffatt
Author: Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare
Illustrator: Thomas Dodoo
Publisher: Divinity Graphics

This week, I went to review a book for children and especially for parents, who I want to encourage to begin buying books for their children on their special days such as birthdays and when they have achieved new heights in their various endeavours.

It is hoped that buying books for them instead of other presents would inculcate in them the habit of reading, which is the key to knowledge.

Proverbs chapter 22 verse six says, “Train a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” and for sure as we say here in Ghana, “Catch them young.”

Environment

The author, Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare, who has passionate interests in keeping the environment healthy and aesthetically clean, also believes that children should be taught early to appreciate the environment.

Who Cares? tells the story of Bubu, a seven-year-old active pupil of a school (not mentioned) whose favourite colour is gold, loves to play hide and seek, with his favourite meal being akple with okro soup.

Just like any other child of her age, she is inquisitive and loves to ask questions, but above all extremely against actions that harm the environment.

Who Cares?, which is more like a booklet, is packed with subtle don’ts on littering and as compact as it is, it traces Bubu’s movements with her mother through the market where they go to buy foodstuffs for the family, a normal activity that any child will identify with and which will definitely impact positively on them while highlighting the negatives as outlined in Bubu’s trip to the market.

While Bubu might seem “too known” as we say hereabouts, her questions and the reasons for confronting even her elders on why they litter and don’t keep their environment clean make sense.

Puzzle

A puzzle titled Let’s Play adds to the attractions of the booklet. It brings up new words that task the children as they attempt to work out the puzzle.

Then there is the Spot the Litter, in which the children are expected to spot some items in a picture, and finally the glossary of new words compiled from the story, not forgetting the vivid drawings of activities, which enhance the understanding of the story.

Membership

Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare’s membership of the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) and community buyback activities with members, including Voltic Ghana Limited, within basic schools in her community prompted the writing of this book to enlighten children on pressing matters in society to broaden their understanding of numerous subjects, including littering and pollution, which are major contributing factors to climate change.

Forward

Eyram Akofa Tawiah, in the foreword of the booklet, states that the greatest way to pass along our African culture to future generations is to narrate our stories about our local surroundings.

“In these contemporary times, shaping our narratives through literature is critical to imprinting our values in our children. I am a big fan of easy-to-read local literature since it is easily relatable and has a quick grasp of important learning objectives,” he added.

Let’s get local books which our children will associate with for them to appreciate our Africanness.