The Arts

October 11, 2021

Adebisi’s new book: A simple narrative on child grooming

child grooming

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By Oyeyinka Fabowale 

The 44-page new book, “Mad About the Rain and Other Stories” is a collection of inspirational and didactic short stories for children. Adebisi Olaniyi, a communication and child-grooming expert, in four simple, straightforward and well-illustrated narratives, teaches the young ones the virtues of patience, selflessness, true friendship and prudence.

The morals and message are woven into and passed across in the entertaining tales set within the immediate world and familiar experiences of elementary and pre-school age children – the family, school and peer group. Olaniyi provides, in addition to this subtle pedagogical device, quick lesson notes and questions at the end of each story to inspire the reader to think, chew and digest what he has learnt. In a way, this writing style is able to enhance better comprehension and retention of the lessons learnt in the minds of the young reader.

The book opens with the title story, Mad At The Rain followed by Love Is Enough To Go Round, The Conditional Friend, and My Piggy Bank Saved The Day in that order. The flagship story is about Rayo, a girl of six, who develops a dislike for rain after hitting her leg against a stone while trying to escape being beaten by the storm. Her hurt makes her bitter and sad until her mum makes her realise she cannot make the rain an enemy forever. She educates her about the bright side and benefits of rainfall, pointing out that: “The rain comes to help our seeds grow, keep us cool, help us relax and reflect while the sun sets for us to work and act upon the dreams we have birthed during the raining season.” Upon hearing this, Rayo becomes happy again, and even begins to plan how to make the best of the seasons after learning more about them and other things.

Love Is Enough To Go Round tells the story of 10-year-old Nneka, an only child of her parents jealous about having a rival sibling. However, her parents help to allay her fears and make her realise that their having a new baby will not affect their love for her. They demonstrate that they can love her and her brother, just like she confesses that she loves them both in special ways.

Here, the author depicts a dilemma some families face and proffers an ingenious solution to it by suggesting induction of children into cherished family values and forming purposeful relationships.

The same theme echoes in My Piggy Bank Saved The Day, which demonstrates how encouraging children to be thrifty can benefit both the young ones, their parents and the family in the immediate and long runs.

The Conditional Friend preaches against prejudice and mistreatment of the weak and vulnerable, just as it encourages the underdog to stand up against oppression and bullies, and to freely discuss problems that may bother them.

Olaniyi’s book is a worthy addition to the set of quality juvenile literature. Apart from introducing the readers in the target age group to new words and knowledge about seasonal cycles and their benefits, it is designed in such a way to develop critical thinking, sense of financial independence, empathy, compassion, love and many other virtues in the young ones. Some poetic and lyrical aspects of the literary style are also sure to delight the reader.

But perhaps, the major strength of the book, especially the e-version is the lively, colourful and graphic illustrations. In sharp strokes, bright and vibrant colours, they vividly depict the scenes and characters, making the stories easy to follow and understand.