Yetunde: An Ode To My Mother
Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is the second of Salami’s Yetunde books. This short, beautiful read is told from the perspective of Yetunde, a mere babe, whose own ma has recently lost her mother. Yetunde narrates for us as her ma engages in a Yoruba tradition of praise poetry, reciting one for her own mother.
Yetunde is so sweet and charming. She is a wee one, and her language reflects it. She doesn’t speak in nonsensical baby talk, but she does speak with the short, “oh, shiny” attention of a toddler. She only just learned to walk, after all. Yetunde addresses us, the reader, directly. She says she speaks Ancient Angelic, but the adults call it baby babble. Being Yoruba, Yetunde is learning to understand both English and Yoruba.
As the story progresses, Yetunde’s ma sits with her, speaking of her regrets in not spending as much time as possible with her own ma. She had planned to buy a plot and build her ma a house to have her close so she could be in Yetunde’s life. As she talks with Yetunde, she speaks in English and Yoruba, giving translations. Yetunde’s ma is helping her learn to be bilingual. We are also given other tidbits of Yoruba culture and lore.
Salami’s story is a marvelous one, wrought with love and care. Though primarily in English, it is a beautiful glimpse at a Yoruba cultural tradition. I love the lessons in Yoruba that are woven in. We are taught as Yetunde is taught. I was privileged enough to beta-read this short weeks ago and was tickled to see it show up at SFBC. I still want to read the predecessor, Yetunde: A Yoruba Girl in London.
This book is strongly recommended, especially if you have interests in cultural awareness. A perfect quick read for mas to share with little ones.
|Page Count||42 pages|
|Publisher||Cougar Solar Ltd|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|