BOOK TITLE: Makieba’s First Pajama Party
AUTHOR: Delores Chappell
ILLUSTRATOR: Jeanette Baker
REVIEW: This book is about a young girl named Makieba who has moved to the United States from Kenya, Africa. Makieba and her mother, Sheeamyah are used to her father, Nuryebie having to go on business trips for long periods of time, and Makieba is homesick for Africa where all of her friends are.
Things are so different in the United States compared to Kenya, Africa where the family is from. This book is a children’s book that would be a great read for any child, especially if they are going through the emotions of homesickness, loneliness or even sadness.
This book starts with Makieba’s homesickness being troubling for her mother, Sheamyah being worried about her daughter and she thinks of things that would bring her daughter pleasure, and she decides to have a pajama party for her daughter, and invite all of her friends from Kenya. She announces this to her daughter and Makieba is thrilled.
Her mother and Makieba spend days preparing for this wonderful pajama party where her friends, Nugeeva, Koleema Raemeeba, Maleeyia, Znobeya, and Labeeba are all coming to from Kenya. They get board games, decorations, plan trips to the zoo, the arcade, and plan all sorts of indoor and outdoor activities.
One night, before her friends are due to arrive, Makieba can’t sleep. She gets out of bed and goes to the attic thinking of a very special gift she can give the girls for coming to the pajama party. She remembers her grandmother’s mystical beads and makes beautiful jewelry as thank you gifts for her friends, a bracelet and necklace for each of them. This shows thoughtfulness on behalf of Makieba and she finishes the jewelry at nighttime after three nights of working on the necklaces and bracelets. She hides them from her mother in her shoeboxes because she wants them to be a surprise. Again, this book touches on how a child is thoughtful to others.
The following night, her mother and Makieba make final preparations for her guests who arrive at the airport the very next day. Right before they go to pick up Makieba’s friends, her mother gives her a beautiful African Afghan dress to wear for their arrival.
The story goes on to describe a wonderful visit with Makieba’s friends, and all they do while in the United States. The pajama party is perfect, and on the last night, all the girls go to the state fair.
The next morning they drive all their friends to the airport, and Makieba surprises all of her friends with the gifts she has made for them, showing how a child can be thoughtful too. They all hug each other goodbye, and Sheamyah and her daughter watch as the plane goes high up in the sky.
When they arrive home, Makieba and her mother are surprised to find a letter waiting for them on the porch. It is a letter from her father. As Makieba begins to read the letter, there is a knock at the door, and it is her father, Nuryebie.
She and her mother are so excited to see him and her father takes her upstairs and puts her to bed as they laugh and chat and exchange stories. Her mother comes up with her father’s two bags, and Makieba is excited. She gets some wonderful gifts from her father.
Right before Makieba is going to sleep, she asks her mother to stay in the room and she grabs underneath her pillow the beautiful handmade bracelet, earrings, and necklace she made for her mother. Her mother is thrilled and lets Makieba know it. The book ends with Makieba and her mother exchanging their love for one another, telling each other they are best friends in the whole world.
This book is sure to enlighten your Child on thoughtfulness, kindness, goodness and giving. What an ideal Christmas or birthday or just a present for any child to read or parent who wishes to read this book to them. This opens their eyes to geography and how vast and diverse our world really is. This book is a must read for any child or parent or grandparent as a gift for their grandchild. Delores, the author does a wonderful job showing this diversity. My rating for this book is five stars!!
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