The effort at developing a good reading culture in children may be the best gift any parent can give a child on the forthcoming Children’s Day celebration. This is one of the highlights at the commemoration of the International World Book Day at a Lagos restaurant by Clever Clogs, a publishing company founded by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi.
This celebration was marked with the launch of three Nigerian-themed children’s picture books by Clever Clogs, namely Tobi Visits the Conservatory, Kob the Antelope, and Diary of A Toddler all published in 2017. In line with the publishing company’s vision to shape children’s literature industry in Nigeria, these fictional works had been produced with very colourful and attractive illustrations, executed with high production quality.
At the launch, the author, Talabi explained what makes this new collection unique and desirable.
“Many of the readily available and best promoted children’s books are from a different continent. These books tell their own stories, interpret the world through their own eyes and promote their own values. I write my books to tell our own stories, develop our own narrative and give our children wholesome protagonists who look like them and or live in their kind of environment. I want these books to be bedtime story favorites for children across the country.’’
The author has a strong root in publishing starting off at a family newspaper business. She has served on the board of Punch Nigeria Limited since 1994 and worked in an executive capacity for eight years as the Executive Director, Business Development and New Projects.
Last year, she worked assiduously with talented artists to produce these children’s picture books. While Tobi Visits the Conservatory is the first in the series, the story in it is centred on a family’s budget sensitive visit to a Lagos tourist spot. Underneath the story for children is a potent lesson for parents to look inwards and tap into the tourism potentials of Lagos state to give their children an affordable holiday treat.
The second book in the series, Kob the Antelope is an expose of sorts for children to be aware of the potential dangers of being lured by a stranger and ignoring good parental advice. It’s a story of a young antelope, Kob who wanders away from home and was trapped by a devious hyena. Set in a West African Savanna, the story is recommended for children between ages 6 and 8. This book is indeed an asset to parents who are very concerned about the rising trend of child abuse and molestation.
Finally, the third book in the collection, Diary of a Toddler, designed for children between ages 2 and 4 is a good piece that prepares a child for daily routines, good manners, personal hygiene and other wholesome activities for toddlers.