Picture Books

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Karani, Ruth Wairimu

Visa Vya Shilingi na Kobole

The Adventures of Shilingi and Kobole

Nairobi, Kenya: Sasa Sema Publications, 2003. 24 p. ISBN 9966-951-23-7. Ages 4-8.

Language: Kiswahili

Publisher: Sasa Sema Publications Ltd.

This is an entertaining look inside the lives of money. Shilingi, meaning shilling, and Kobole, meaning five shillings, are two coins that live in Kenya. Their adventures take them far and wide as they are exchanged for goods by human beings. The story is narrated by Shilingi, who, when we first meet him, is sharing his life with a market vendor.

Kobole soon joins Shilingi in the shoe, and together they share their experiences among humans. This story is really about people’s love of money and the lengths they go to while protecting it. There are moral lessons hidden in the folly of an old woman running helter-skelter and stopping traffic, a sleepless rich man breaking his bones, and a dead man rising to chase after money. Readers will be surprised to learn that although the two coins realise that men love them, they are puzzled by and concerned about the imprudent actions that result from this love.

With its evocative, large, full-colour illustrations and humorous choice of words, this story will make a nice addition to a home or school library. Teachers will find it an engaging prelude to classroom lessons about money.


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