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  • Writer's pictureOverton Playgroup

Book Review - Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne

This month Overton Preschool hand a slightly unusual story time. The Chairperson of the Parent Committee came in to read a story in French!

The story is set in Africa and is about a girl called Handa who collects a basket of fruits as a surprise for her friend Akeyo. As she walks to Akeyo’s village she wonders which of the fruits her friend will like best, but along the way different animals each steal one of the fruits without her realising as she is carrying the basket on her head. As she is almost there a runaway goat butts a tree and the fruit falls from the tree filling the basket. Luckily the tree was a tangerine tree, and Akeyo is delighted with her gift as she says that tangerines are her favourite fruit. Handa is the one who is surprised as there were no tangerines in her basket when she set out.

The story was brought to life with props to help the children understand what some of the French words were. There was a banana, mango, avocado, passion fruit, pineapple, guava and orange all in a basket which was balanced on Angela’s head, and then puppets were used for the animals – a monkey, ostrich, zebra, elephant, giraffe, antelope, parrot and goat. The children talked about and held the fruits from around the world, enjoyed acting out the story, and all were given a tangerine to eat at the end.

Thank you to Luby for her beautiful French storytelling, and giving the children a more unusual story time. Adding props into a story is a great option to engage children of all ages, and in this instance a simple way to illustrate a story in a foreign language


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