Saturday, March 28, 2020

Book Nook: The Big Buna Bash

I recently had a chance to review a new children's book by Sara Arnold -  The Big Buna Bash. The book welcomes children and parents alike to learn about this traditional Ethiopian coffee “buna” and accompanying ceremony:
Almaz, a young Ethiopian girl adjusting to her new school and classmates, gets embarrassed when she suggests the word buna for a vocabulary activity, as her classmates and teacher have never heard of it. After a hard day of teasing, her family suggests she hosts a Big Buna Bash for her classmates and teacher to help them learn about the significance of coming together to chat over cups of coffee. The ceremony exposes readers of all ages to a culture different than their own and gives children of diverse backgrounds the courage to open themselves up to their peers.
"It’s fun to learn about other traditions other than our own," says Arnold, who learned about Ethiopian traditions as an Aunt to an extended family or both Ethiopian and Israeli decent. "Not everyone is the same, and that’s okay. Children notice differences, so let’s show them that it feels good to embrace and value the things that make each person or group of people different."

I enjoyed reading this book. I learned something about Ethiopian culture, and I thought the book did a good job of portraying some of the struggles that can happen when kids are unfamiliar with somebody's culture - but are eventually willing to learn about it.

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