Mayowa and the Masquerades – by Lola Shoneyin, illustrated by Francis Blake

  Mayowa and the Masquerades – by Lola Shoneyin, illustrated by Francis Blake, Cassava Republic Press, 9781913175047, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Adventure

What did you like about the book? Mayowa visits his grandparents and is shown around by a neighbor’s child. They enjoy the nature around them on their way to the masquerades, including a grasshopper, a stream, a sow and her piglets, and a tall yeye tree. From Denuyi’s description of the masquerades being ancestors that return to dance with their loved ones, Mayowa thinks he might be about to see ghosts, but when they hear the music and approach he sees such coloful costumed characters dancing that it makes him want to dance too! They dance along so long and so far that they get lost, but a man points out a sign towards the villiage and they boys make it home safe full of excitement. I like that Mayowa makes a new friend and is exposed to new creatures and local traditions. Bright colorful pictures help make this book fun and engaging.

Anything you did not like about the book? Pronunciation of names was difficult and the story never says where it all takes place.

 To whom would you recommend this book? children ages 2-8, especially those looking for culturally diverse books

Who should buy this book? Parents, teachers, librarians looking for diversity in their selections.

Where would you shelve it? Childrens’ fiction/picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top, it’s an great inclusive book

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Vicky Deneault, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review: March 19, 2021

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