Book Review: A Gift for Ana, by Jane Va’afusuaga

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This book is a beautifully written narrative which gives insight into a Samoan family saying goodbye to someone they love. Ana is a young girl who is returning to her family’s homeland in Samoa because her family member had passed away. It is a book which tells a story from the Pacific so our children can see themselves in what they read.

It is a great teaching resource to help children understand what they might experience in a similar situation. The author quietly explains Ana’s story in a no-nonsense, straight-forward manner from the first page. It provides answers to many questions about what might happen when a child returns home and will also provoke many questions which can be talked through together.

The rich story is accompanied by stunning coloured lithographic prints which boldly sit alongside the text. We are excited that this book is also available in Samoan so our families can read this at home in their mother tongue.

The author has explored the delicate family relationships which develop when families live apart when Ana begins to know her grandmother. Ana’s grandmother tells Ana the stories of her family and you are left with hope and peace dispute the tough issues the book raises.

Reviewed by Sara Croft

A Gift for Ana
by Jane Va’afusuaga
Published by Little Island
ISBN: 9781877484247

 

 

 

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