Cover image for Furaha means happy : a book of Swahili words
Furaha means happy : a book of Swahili words
Wilson-Max, Ken.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump at the Sun-Hyperion Books for Children, [2000]

Physical Description:
26 unnumbered pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 33 cm
Uses a description of a brother and sister in Kenya on a picnic with their parents to introduce a variety of words in the African language Swahili.
General Note:
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.3 0.5 57945.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PL8703 .W545 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



An accessible introduction to thc Swahili language by best-selling children's book creator, Ken Wilson-Max.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Using the same combination of simple story and dictionary he used in Halala Means Welcome: A Book of Zulu Words (1998), Wilson-Max introduces children to a beginning Swahili vocabulary. Wambui, a young Kenyan girl, is presented in an opening spread, accompanied by brief information about where Swahili is spoken and a map of Africa (only Kenya is labeled). Subsequent pages follow Wambui on a day's excursion with her brother, Moses, and parents, as they drive past giraffes and hippos, stop to picnic by a lake, and finish with a postmeal nap. A pictorial glossary alternates with each narrative spread, presenting the Swahili translation of the English words (camera, sandwich, mango, and so on) used in the text. With their bold lines and bright, opaque colors, the uncluttered illustrations mimic the story's simplicity and offer snapshotlike pictures of a modern, Western-influenced African family. Young readers will most likely gloss over the story and focus on matching the images with new vocabulary, which also appears in a concluding pronunciation section. A cheerful primer for kids interested in Africa and in Swahili. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Using a family outing as a backdrop, Wilson-Max introduces young readers to a handful of Swahili words. A brief introduction provides a map of Africa and identifies Kenya as one of its countries. It also presents a brother and sister who live there and speak English and Swahili. They wear western-style clothing, travel by car, and document family fun with a camera. Wambui greets readers and narrates the story of her family's trip to a lake. Full-color, double-page spreads present her simple story and are followed by labeled illustrations of selected vocabulary. For example, after she describes their picnic lunch, drawings of a mango, a sandwich, and other items appear on a crisp white background with their English and Swahili words. A separate guide to pronunciation is provided at the end. Wilson-Max's choice of rich, full-bodied color and the use of bold black outlines give his spirited illustrations instant appeal. Similar in format to the author's Halala Means Welcome: A Book of Zulu Words (Hyperion, 1998), this slim volume is an attractive extra.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.