Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 January 2021:
Adama Loves Akara is a new children’s book from Sierra Leonean TV host Vickie Remoe that encourages early reading, family time, and multiculturalism. Illustrated by Luseni Kallon, the book was inspired by Remoe’s son, who exclaimed at age three that his early reader Bob Books “did not make sense”.
Remoe said that the books she was using to teach her son Olu, though useful for phonics, did not represent African culture. She set out to write a series that would teach early literacy skills and focus on her culture.
“I bought my son’s first reader the same day I bought his first pampers. It wasn’t until we started to actively focus on developing his phoneme awareness that I noticed the absence of African culture in the early readers,” said Vickie Remoe, author of Adama Loves Akara.
“Everything from the characters’ names to the books’ activities focuses on American and British culture. Even as they’re learning English, they must see themselves in the content they read right from the start.”
Adama Loves Akara is about a Sierra Leonean daughter and father duo who enjoy reading, playing learning games, and sharing their favourite snack – akara. The book introduces early readers to short and long ‘a’ vowel sounds.
The 24-page book is an easy, enjoyable read with illustrations that showcase Sierra Leone’s gara tie-dye textiles, food, and the special bond between fathers and daughters. The book also includes a map of Sierra Leone and a recipe for Akara.
Akara is a deep-fried banana and rice flour fritter from Sierra Leone. In Ghana, akara is bofrot, and in Nigeria, puff-puff. Unlike the Sierra Leonean akara both the Nigerian and Ghanaian recipes are without banana.
The Paperback version of Adama Loves Akara for children aged 0-6 is currently available on Amazon for families and pre-schools worldwide.