For You Are a Kenyan Child

Presented by: Elissa Post Block B Section B EDEL 411

Information About the Book

Author: Kelly Cunnane

Illustrated by: Ana Juan

Genre: Humor and Comedy, Fiction

Theme: Comparing daily activities of life in Kenya with that of your own, more specifically family aspects and your community.


  • 2006 Maine Lupine Award: Most Outstanding Children's Picture Book Writing
  • Ezra Jack Keats Award: Outstanding Children's Picture Book Writing

Cunnane, K. (2006). For you are a Kenyan child. New York: Children's Publishing Division.

About the Author

Kelly Cunnane has been an author for over thirty years. Kelly's diversity in writing is mainly due to her travels of the world. These travels have given her first hand experience that sets her apart, especially dealing with cultural and community. Cunnane was drawn to Africa doing most of her writing and exploring the continent for over thirty-five years, this love truly shows in her writing. Kelly has over twenty-five years of teaching experience, ten years in an elementary school and the other years as an adult and community educator. During her time in schools she taught kindergarten to eight grade art and culture as well as teaching English in the university and high school. Currently Kelly runs workshops for educators and to raise cultural awareness about Africa. These workshops gives educators hands-on activities and interactions dealing with communities and writing about these communities. For more information about Cunnane, her writing, and her workshops visit her website listed below!

About the Illustrator

Ana Juan grew up drawing and was influenced by art at a young age. She grew up in Valencia, Spain where she also graduated from art school. Juan started spending time in galleries and illustrating different projects. Ana then started to collaborate with magazines such as La Luna, Los Angeles Times, and more famously The New Yorker. Juan has published many illustrated book and some specifically for children. Currently Ana is working on a children's book and resides in Madrid. Access to her personal website is listed below!

Criteria for Renowned Multicultural Literature

1. Gender roles within the culture should be portrayed authentically, reflecting the changing roles and status of women and men in cultures. Throughout the story there are multiple gender roles represented in the community. Some of the roles are represented by the boy's family members and others by community members. This shows that there are ways that families and communities are intertwined specifically with different roles or jobs. There was no stature that was set where different genders had different statuses in fact it portrayed equality of men and women with different roles. This was important especially in developing a sense of community of environment of Kenya.

2. Language should reflect distinctive vocabulary, style, and patterns of speech of the cultural group. The book represents the Kenyan and African culture by integrating Swahili throughout the book. Since the book is directed more for a younger age there are some repeated sayings and words for children to understand and connect the meaning of the language to the story. Due to Cunnane having so much experience in Africa the story flow and comprehension was easy to understand without there being a gap for children with a lack of understanding Swahili.

3. Characterization should be true to life and balanced, representing both positive and negative behaviors and traits. The story goes through and portrays a boy who has a job to do and instead gets distracted with other things going on in his community. Shows that in real life this could be realistic and in fact there is a negative behavior since he is not taking care of his grandfather's cows. At the end of the story is what really brings the story true to life and balanced in a sense that it then also connects the story to everyone by ending with "Until they fall asleep, like you, like us." Overall this ending helps connect the reader to the boy in the story.

Big image
Ana Juan uses a mix of crayons and acrylic to portrait the illustrations in the book.

Teaching Application - Lesson Idea

Grade: 1st Grade

Standard: CCSS RL.1.7: Use illustrations and details in the story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Objective: Students will analyze the story to describe how the setting and community in the story is alike or different to themselves and where they live.

  • The teacher will first ask students if they have ever traveled anywhere and a discussion will take place about how the place they visited was different or alike where they live now. The teacher will then introduce the book and explain that it takes place in a different place outside of the U.S.A. and point to Africa on a map explaining that this is were Kenya is and where the story takes place. Also touching on the point that there is another language in the book called Swahili and to listen close to the reading.
  • The teacher will then read the story out loud to the students and periodically has stopping points to ask questions or review in case students may be confused. This would also be important to make sure your students understand what you are reading. Also giving students a chance to pair and share with their shoulder partner is important to review what has happened thus far in the book and what they think will happen. Also throughout the story asking if students have recognized or observed anything that they have in common with the story or the boy.
  • After the book is over the students will then draw a picture of where they live and then on another page draw where the boy lives. Then the students will write a sentence or two about what was one or two things they observed that the boy and them have in common with where they lived, who they lived with, who was in their community etc.


Reading "For you are a Kenyan child" by Post383