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What's Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly
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What's Cooking, Jamela?

by Niki Daly

Series: Jamela

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Showing 5 of 5
My favorite "Jamela" story from the incredible Niki Daly. Jamela's mother buys a chicken to fatten for Christmas dinner, but Jamela has other plans for her new pet. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
I really loved this children's book by Niki Daly. "What's Cooking Jamela?" is a story about a little girl and her family living in Africa and their journey with a chicken they named Christmas, since that is what they bought it for. The problem in the story is that Jamela forms a bond with the Christmas chicken and doesn't want to eat it anymore, so she tries to hide the chicken from her family so they won't cook it. Niki Daly is also the illustrator of this book and she does a wonderful job with her vibrant colors in her pictures. No where in the story does it say they are living in Africa, but through her illustrations you are able to infer that. I would definitely recommend this book because I think it teaches a lesson on friendship and maybe even good morals. ( )
  tsavan1 | Oct 25, 2016 |
In my opinion, this is a great multicultural book! The plot is exciting, yet suspenseful. The reader does not know whether or not the family cooked the “pet” chicken and put it on the table for the Christmas feast, until the very last page. That is good because it keeps the reader engaged and curious throughout the story. Another thing I really liked was the language. Throughout the story, the author used words from African languages such as, mielies (corn), molo (hello), and marogo (green peppers used for cooking). Throughout the story, the words were italicized, and in the back of the book, the author included a glossary with all of the terms. The only issue I have is that when the terms were used in the book, there was not much context clues around them to gather meaning. For example, in the sentence, “Mama showed Jamela how much water and mielies the chicken would need every day” it is hard to gather meaning, unless you happen to know that chickens eat corn. Lastly, the illustrations are very nice. They enhance the text, and are very detailed and colorful. The pictures show us a lot about South African tradition like clothing, architecture, and food. The big idea of this book is that the love of family comes above everything else. Jamela’s mother and grandmother planned for months to have the farm chicken for Christmas dinner, but because Jamela became attached to the chicken and loved it as a pet, they let her keep the chicken on the farm and they changed their Christmas meal.
  Abeckl1 | Oct 14, 2015 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I enjoyed learning about how another country, such as South Africa, prepared for holidays compared to the United States. Most people in the United States do not raise chickens themselves and cook them for Christmas dinner and so I thought this perspective from another culture was engaging. I also liked the book because of the illustrations throughout. The pictures enhanced the story really well by matching well with the text. The text written on each page directly corresponded with the illustrations giving the reader a clear idea of what was occurring throughout the story and keeps the reader engaged. However, I did not like the language used throughout the story. Although I am usually a fan of author's adding in words of a different language in a story for authenticity, the author for this story did not make clear what the foreign words meant. The word "meilies" was a reoccurring word throughout the text. I figured it was a type of feed for the chickens, since that is what the illustrations suggested, but the context clues were never quit clear on what they actually were. These words would definitely be difficult for children reading the text to figure out their meaning and I wish it was made clear of what the foreign language words were trying to say and what language they derived from. Overall, the main message of this book is that you "can't eat friends," as Jamela would say. The dinner goes on without the chicken and Jamela is quite happy. ( )
  mpotts1 | Apr 5, 2015 |
This story can be used around Christmas time because it is about a girl who is in charge of fattening up her families Christmas chicken they named Christmas but instead she became friends with her. It could be a lesson on friendship and or just read for fun for the holiday season. ( )
  ermilligan | Nov 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374356025, School & Library Binding)

"Who could resist playful, imaginative Jamela?" -- School Library Journal

When Mrs. Zibi arrives to prepare the Christmas meal, Jamela decides to save Christmas, her chicken, from going into the cooking pot. She sets off with the chicken in her arms . . . and a trail of chaos follows. Suddenly it's Jamela, not the chicken, who is in hot water. But, as Jamela proclaims on Christmas's behalf, "You can't eat friends!"

This boisterous Yuletide story for all seasons features the same colorful South African township characters who made Jamela's Dress, an ALA Notable Book, such a delight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Jamela is responsible for fattening up the chicken intended for Christmas dinner, but instead she gives it a name and makes it her friend.

» see all 2 descriptions

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