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Daly, Niki: A Song for Jamela.

Daly, Niki

A Song for Jamela

Frances Lincoln, 2009, pp32, 11.99 [pounds sterling]

978 1 84507 871 3

A Song for Jamela is the fifth title in a series of picture books about a little girl who lives in a South African Township. Strong, dynamic illustrations tell the story; a variety of page layout creates further energy so that the plot around an exciting day in Jamela's life is brought to life vividly for younger readers and listeners.


When Aunt Beauty calls to ask Jamela to help in her hair salon one boring day during the school holidays, every little girl's dream takes shape. She tidies and sorts and is thoroughly happy when her pop star idol just happens to call by for a hairdo in time for the evening's 'Afro-Idols' finals. Needless to say, just as things might have gone seriously wrong, Jamela saves the day and receives tickets to see Miss Chaka Chaka in concert!

There are moments where the text and the illustrations do not quite synchronise which is a shame because the text, is ideal for a newly fluent reader who still needs image reassurance. The language choices and the names emphasise South Africa and enhance the cultural setting. This is a lovely book; I think it only a shame that so many of this group are into hairdos and pop idols ... but at least Miss Chaka Chaka makes it on her own without the handsome prince so perhaps this is a better dream than the ones I was fed way back then ...!

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Author:Sims, Janet
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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