I wanted to do a quick review of the Jamela series by Niki Daly. Jamela is a little girl growing up in South Africa, and the stories revolve around her misadventures as a typical child. Not only are the illustrations outstanding, but the stories are endearing as well accessible for children. Daughter has no problem relating to Jamela as a character, and is able to reflect back on the stories from her point of view as well as Jamela’s. We don’t own this series, but we get it out of the library fairly often.
I wanted to mention this series because these books are some of the few that address frugality as a fact of life. In Happy Birthday Jamela for instance, Jamela’s grandmother says “wasting money is no laughing matter” as part of the discussion on Jamela’s transgression (gluing beads to her school shoes to make them sparkly). In the Jamela books overall, frugality is framed as normal, not a punishment or an indication of poverty, as in other children’s books I’ve come across. I think it is important to see our financial mentality reflected positively in books that Daughter reads.
That isn’t the only reason I read this books with Daughter; in fact, it’s probably fourth or fifth after storyline, illustrations, and general entertainment. It is hard to find quality children’s books, so it is even more exciting to find something that is easy to read, beautiful, and supportive of frugality