What's Cooking, Jamela? (Hardcover)

By Niki Daly, Niki Daly (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

TFC REVIEW: Set in a South African township, this is a story of a young girl, Jamela, who sets out to rescue Christmas, her pet chicken, from becoming the family’s holiday meal. Throughout the book are images of South Africa including a nativity play where “Jamela played Mary and carried baby Jesus on her back like a real mama,” the Wise Men wearing “Madiba shirts,” and Christmas songs sung “to the sound of marimba and drums.” Xhosa and Zulu vocabulary is also used throughout this engaging story.

— From Early Childhood: Learning about Holidays


"Who could resist playful, imaginative Jamela?" -- School Library Journal

When Mrs. Zibi arrives to prepare the Christmas meal, Jamela decides to save Christmas, her chicken, from going into the cooking pot. She sets off with the chicken in her arms . . . and a trail of chaos follows. Suddenly it's Jamela, not the chicken, who is in hot water. But, as Jamela proclaims on Christmas's behalf, "You can't eat friends!"

This boisterous Yuletide story for all seasons features the same colorful South African township characters who made Jamela's Dress, an ALA Notable Book, such a delight.

About the Author

Niki Daly is the creator of many acclaimed picture books, including Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with his wife, the illustrator Jude Daly.

Praise For…

"A warm, close-knit family and community lovingly nurture Jamela. All the characters, major and minor, are drawn as distinct individuals with expressive faces and body language. The entire work is carefully crafted . . . But it is Jamela who is the star. She is mischievous, boisterous, loving, generous, worried, determined, even defiant, and it's all there in her face. This little girl is a charmer and so is her story." -Starred, Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374356026
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: October 1st, 2001
Pages: 36