“The Bundu Bunch Get to Write Their Names” by Allan Low“The Bundu Bunch Get to Write Their Names” by Allan Low https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/TheBunduBunch_-1024x1024.jpg 1024 1024 Reader Views Kids Reader Views Kids https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/TheBunduBunch_-1024x1024.jpg
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The Bundu Bunch Get to Write Their Names
Bundu Bunch Publishing (2023)
Reviewed by Michaela Gordoni for Reader Views (01/2024)
In “The Bundu Bunch Get to Write Their Names,” by Allan Low, a few orphaned children in South Africa figure out how to take care of themselves by working together and thinking creatively. After their parents pass away from AIDS, the children must struggle to carry water from a stream up a mountain every day. Having no money for school fees, the children are unable to attend class with other kids and learn to read and write. But the kids have some good ideas that will eventually help them achieve their goals.
Without going into too much detail or displaying all of the unfortunate realities of these children’s situations, Allan Low does an excellent job of portraying a story that, unfortunately, hits close to home for many who live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Though the children’s situation is bleak, they don’t despair but look for ways to accomplish their tasks more easily and for ways to read and write so that the other children don’t call them mean names. This isn’t a typical children’s book that teaches kids a moral lesson or some manners. With an indirect approach, this educates kids about the lives that other children around the world have. Lives that have many more challenges than they do.
It also draws attention to the serious AIDS crisis in Africa and how it leaves children to fend for themselves. Though there are charities, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly 52 million orphaned children, and most of them need better living conditions. The book also displays how the poor and neglected have a desire to learn and better themselves. They didn’t choose the lives they lead, nor are they content with it.
The children occasionally use some Zulu words, and translation is provided for them on the title page. The illustrations are quite engaging and bright, containing lots of details. The illustrator, South African native Elizabeth Sparg, includes the same elements throughout the pictures, which is excellent for very young kids.
Overall, Allan Low’s “The Bundu Bunch Get to Write Their Names” is a hugely insightful book for children of any age. It’s a great introduction when it comes to showing kids consideration for other people’s lives and living conditions.
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