Kabungo by Rolli
We were all looking forward to the arrival of Kabungo from Amazon and it’s become a quick favorite in our home. Our 9.5 yr old bookworm read it first and loved it. She found Beverly to be a great character since she was so cool (almost) all the time and was such a good friend to Kabungo. And our daughter liked the little cave girl herself for being funny, unpredictable, and wild. She really liked all the neat, individual stories in each chapter, but how they also all tied in together.

For me, I shared Kabungo with our 5.5 yr old son and it was pretty much the perfect read aloud book. Kabungo’s simple but spirited voice, her goofy expressions, her general nuttiness . . . she’s simply a lot of fun. And yes, Beverly is a wonderful friend to her pal “K” so there are a lot of moments where you can stop and say “Wow, she handled that really well.” Or “See how Beverly is always so selfless and helpful?” Or “Geez, Beverly is the most patient girl on Earth to put up with Kabungo!” Actually, even though she’s a cave girl and is kind of like a difficult toddler at times, Kabungo still has plenty of charm and spunk to go with her eccentricities so she doesn’t become this annoying neanderthal.

Rolli is an excellent writer and this little novel is entertaining, surprising, and completely appropriate for young eager readers. What I enjoyed best about how he crafted this story is throughout the chapters, we get to meet this whole whimsical cast of characters while Beverly and Kabungo have little adventures around their town. Then, all the people come together at the end for a supremely satisfying closing chapter that provokes smile after smile from us readers. My favorite character was Ms. VeDore, who lives in a maybe-haunted mansion and who certainly knows how to celebrate my #1 holiday--HALLOWEEN!

And as a bonus, the book’s artwork is great too! We all enjoyed the unique illustrations scattered through the story which gave us just enough to visualize the goings-on, yet still left plenty for our imaginations.

I highly recommend Kabungo to boys and girls ages 5 and up. This would make a fine summer birthday gift or an anytime gift. As I mentioned before, it’s a great read-aloud title for parents with younger kids since they’ll surely have lots of fun together discovering all the colorful “Kabungo-isms” such as: shark toofs, targur, and belly. (Spoiler alert--Belly is Kabungo’s way of saying Beverly!)

That’s the only one of Rolli’s clever story secrets I’ll give away. The rest you’ll have to see for yourselves, after you buy a copy of Kabungo!

Happy Reading!