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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin
Age Range: 9-11
Akissi is a popular French-language comic that follows the adventures of a mischievous West African girl. Written by French author, Marguerite Abouet, who created the best-selling ‘Aya’ comic books for adults, it is published in English for the very first time.
Six stories make up this delightful collection: ‘Cat Invasion’, ‘Football Match’, ‘Good Mums’, ‘The Pet’ ‘Home Cinema’, ‘Tattle, Tattle, Toil and Trouble and ‘Tapeworm’.
Akissi lives with her mother, father and brother Fofana and she is always getting into trouble! If it is not the neighbourhood cat trying to steal the fish her mother sends her out to deliver to Majo’s mum; her attempt to look after the neighbour’s baby feeding it a stew concocted from discarded scraps found in the market, or her pet monkey, Boubou almost ending up as someone else’s dinner, Akissi causes mayhem wherever she goes.
If you are fed up with the stereotypical princess character then Akissi is absolutely ideal. Bold, brash and full of confidence, with a real sense of mischief, Akissi is one feisty little girl as she forces her way in to play football with the boys, climbs trees, gets into fights and has constant battles with her brother.
The humour in the text is complimented by the vibrant and colourful illustrations by Mathieu Sapin that capture the emotion in the facial expressions of the characters and African life so well.
The ‘Tapeworm’ story might shock some parents though. This hilarious tale about Akissi’s infestation of worms will make strong stomachs a prerequisite! Children who enjoy toilet humour are sure to love this story (as are adults). At the end of the book there is even something for the keen chef although the delicious recipe entitled ‘Coconut Goat’s Droppings’ bears no resemblance to the title!