ZIMBABWE born author, Christine Mapondera Talley, has created a children's book series titled "Makanaka's World" which seeks to teach children about global cultures and languages in a fun and engaging way.
The book was published by Global Kids House which has since launched its Kickstarter campaign with the goal to raise $8,000 to expedite the distribution of its book to children, parents and educators around the world.
"Global Kids House is excited for the release of this campaign, to be able to teach children about the world they live in through stories as rich and fun as Makanaka's World is an honor. My goal with this series is to allow kids to go on adventures with Makanaka, learn some geography along the way and a thing or two about other cultures. After all we live in a global world and what better time than at this age for kids to embrace that concept and what it truly means to be a global citizen," she said.
Mapondera-Talley said she had spoken to a number of parents and educators who raised concern over the lack of amusing stories and activities that lured children to learn about geography and other diverse cultures, adding she strongly believed children would enjoy the series.
She said she conceived the idea out of her desire to teach her daughter Jillian Makanaka, after who the series is named, her native Shona language after she had failed to find any literature that was engaging and educational to an early reader.
This was after she realised a learning gap that needed to be filled not only for her daughter but for other families across the world.
"Now my goal with this series is to allow kids to go on adventures with Makanaka, learn some geography along the way and a thing or two about other cultures. After all we live in a global world and what better time than at this age for kids to embrace that concept and what it truly means to be a global citizen," she said.
The series is about Makanaka, a seven year-old girl and her best friend, Fari, a charming and bubbly parrot. Makanaka is a world travel guide who is gifted in languages and has pen pals throughout different parts of the world. Fari also has a special gift allowing him to transform into a jet. Together they travel to different cities and countries giving their audience a chance to learn about the globe, other cultures and languages in a fun and engaging way.
Makanaka (Maa-kah-naa-kah) means beautiful. The name also means amazing, great, awesome while Fari (Faa-ree), short for Farai, is also a Shona name meaning be happy.
Mapondera-Talley was born in Chinhoyi and now resides in the south suburbs of Chicago with her husband and daughter.
Growing up bilingual and experiencing life in both Zimbabwe and the US gives Christine a unique advantage when it comes to helping children learn about geography and the world around them.