Friday, April 4, 2014

Bonyo Bonyo: The True Story of a Brave Boy from Kenya by Vanita Oelschlager

Release Date: April 1, 2010
Publisher: Vanita Books
Illustrators: Kristin Blackwood, Mike Blanc

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Bonyo Bonyo was born into a small village in the land of Kenya. As poor as his family was, Bonyo still had a happy childhood with the other children in the village. When tragedy strikes his family, Bonyo was determined to go to school in order to become a doctor. He wanted to help others.

He began on the road toward his goal only to discover that his parents weren't able to pay for his education. With the kindness of strangers and a courage from deep within, Bonyo makes the dangerous trek miles away to attend school in a neighboring village. But is it enough to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor? Will he be able to help those in his village and beyond?

Because I'm a sucker for true stories, I requested this book from NetGalley. I was able to read through it very quickly as it's a fairly short book. The book was geared toward children, specifically those eight years-old and younger. That didn't stop me from enjoying the inspirational message of the Bonyo's story. I would encourage sharing the message of hard work and determination with everyone and especially children.

Since the book presented the life of Bonyo to the reader, it was told from his point of view. His childhood and family life were spoken of as well the catalyst for his desire to become a doctor. I felt sad that Bonyo had to go through so much in order to go to school. The truth of how little they had hit me and I realized just how lucky many children in thriving First World countries were. As the story progressed, the underlying messages of perseverance and determination shown through the passages.

The story was told in such a way that children would be able to understand and yet kept true to the essence of the overall story. Both good and bad days were shown as well how Bonyo decided to handle the situations. I thought the illustrations were beautifully drawn and on point with the story. Each turn of the page revealed another fantastic illustration to emphasize the point the author was trying to convey. So many colors, bright and dark, could easily capture the child's attention and allow the words to sink into their minds.

Overall, the story's message is one of hope, determination and the courage to chase after one's dreams. I think everyone needs a reminder of that now and again - especially adults. Though book is geared toward children, I honestly enjoyed its simplicity and the message that hard work pays off in the end. If you're looking for a wonderful teaching tool that is a fabulous story as well, I would recommend you add this book to your child's collection or even to your own collection. 

Bonyo Bonyo: The True Story of a Brave Boy from Kenya by Vanita Oelschlager is available at many retaliers including Amazon. You can purchase a copy in hardcover, paperback or Kindle forms. Clicking the link below will take you to the book's Amazon page.
Bonyo Bonyo: The True Story of a Brave Boy from Kenya by Vanita Oelschlager

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