Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother by Segilola Salami
Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is a stand alone book from Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London (1). You may think of it as book 1.5, as in this book Yetunde is slightly older.
It is a heart-warming story about the power of a mother’s love; truly an ode to women and mothers all over the world. It is a captivating and emotional story that talks about love and loss!
Follow Yetunde as she narrates her mother’s ode to her grandmother. It is the Yoruba praise poetry for a mother known as Oriki Iya. Yetunde is also thrilled and delighted by the ancient Yoruba tale passed down to her by her mother about Labakẹ, a young maiden who was kidnapped to be forced to marry a warrior king. Will Iya Labakẹ save her child in time? Is Iya Labakẹ a just a simple defenceless mother? Or . . . ?
This is a short story dedicated to past, present and future mothers, a perfect Mother’s day present!
The book is mostly in English and all Yoruba words are translated, so everyone can enjoy the book fully.
You can order the hardcover version from any good book retailer by quoting ISBN 978-0993444616. When you buy a copy, you are supporting children’s charity Jigsaw4u
Editorial Review of Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother
“What could be very dry is actually entrancing… This isn’t just a story, it’s a look into Yoruba beliefs and folktales”
Told from the point of view of a babe-in-arms, nine-month-old Yetunde, as her mother tells her of her grandmother, now sadly passed, and of the story of a mother in her Yoruba culture.
There are Yoruba words, but they are all translated early and English speakers can follow the story without any problems. By the time you get to the folktale, you can recognise the words and phrases even if you don’t speak the language. This isn’t just a story, it’s a look into Yoruba beliefs and folktales, and an exploration of the role of mothers in life and culture.
What could be very dry is actually entrancing, with most of the book taken up by a folktale that is retold here smoothly. Sadly not all parents are as loving or good as the ones shown in this book, but at the same time it is an inspiration for how things should be.
People who liked this folktale should look up the author’s other work including “Yetunde, the life and times of a Yoruba girl in London“. Her website also has flashcards to help people who want to learn the Yoruba language.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother by Segilola Salami is a beautiful tribute to all mothers told from the viewpoint of a young girl, and it highlights the mother/daughter bond beautifully. Yetunde can speak both Yoruba and English. Today her mother is looking very sad and Yetunde cannot understand the reason. She tells Yetunde about her own mother and recites a poem called Oriki Iya to her, which is dedicated to mothers.
The conversation between Yetunde and her mother displays some profound and insightful moments.
The book has good messages for young readers and the concept is unique and original. The author also speaks about the love of a mother, and how they fight for the safety of their kids and protect them from danger. The book also highlights the importance of water through the story, blending it well with the plot. The illustrations are bright and colorful and capture the concept of the story nicely.
Readers’ Favourite Recommendation
It’s a good bedtime storybook and parents and grandparents should read it out to their kids and grandkids. The story is also good for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries. The power of a mother’s love and the messages make it a must-read for children. The book also exposes young readers to a new culture and makes them understand the importance of the comfort, encouragement, and emotional support a mother can give.