Elizabeti’s School – A Tanzanian Tale of the First Day of School

Elizabeti School


Elizabeti is preparing for her first day of school. Her Mom braids her hair, she says good-bye to her little cat and hugs her little brother and sister.  Elizabeti’s School is a contemporary Tanzanian story about how Elizabeti prepares and experiences her first day of school and then realizes the wonders and joys of learning.  It’s a multicultural and wonderful adventure for any child who is going off to school for the first time.


Title:  Elizabeti’s School

Author:  Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

Illustrator:  Christy Hale

Publisher:  Lee and Low Books – New York, New York

Publication Year: 2002

About Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen:  Author of two award-winning books (Elizabeti’s Doll and Mama Elizabeti), Ms. Stuve-Bodeen was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania in the 1980’s.  She now lives in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii with her husband and their children.


Review:  A very nice and engaging story about Elizabeti’s first day of school.  She is nervous but excited for the new adventure.  As her Mother braids her hair, she fidgets.  She puts on her school uniform and twirls.  She hugs her little brother and sister goodbye – but wonders what they are doing and if they will miss her – because she will sure miss them.  Her older sister brings her to school and shows her the ropes – but while Elizabeti misses her family – she enjoys learning to count to five in Swahili, writing her letters, learning to play Machaura – a game with rocks, and learning a beautiful dance.

When Elizabeti returns home, she shows her family all the things she has learned that day – and get’s a surprise of her own!

Elizabeti’s school is a fantastic way to explain to children the wonders that await for them in Kindergarten.  Yes, Elizabeti misses her family during the day – but the exciting things that she learns is worth being away for a while.  At the end of the day – when the house is quiet, Elizabeti decides she wants to go back to school the next day to experience all the wonders that lay in store – she always returns home at the end of the day – and that’s good because home is the best place to be.


Please Click to Tweet to Share With Other Children Preparing For Their First Day of School

This is an excellent read for any young child – at home or at school.  It’s a great story and it teaches about language (Swahili) and culture.  It talks very well, about the anxieties and anticipation of new things.   I give Elizabeti’s school 5 stars!

Ages:  4-6

Rating:  5 Stars



This post was created (in part) for conclusion in the Kid Lit Blog Hop on Mother and Daughter Book Reviews.


About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. Sounds like a fantastic book. Maybe a little too grown up for Madison but I’m sure she will still enjoy looking at the pictures. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Growing UP Madison recently posted…Baby’s Journey Towel Warmer Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  2. What a wonderful book review! I’m going to check in our library to see if they have it. {Crossing my fingers} I’m sure my 5 yr. old will love this book! Thank you
    Frances recently posted…Spanish Language Summer Program Day 6: Los Animales (The Animals)My Profile

  3. Stopping over (really late!) from the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I love how you structure your reviews – they’re very easy to read and concise (what a blessing). I’m looking forward to more of what you have to share! See you next time at/on the hop!
    Carolyn recently posted…Welcome to My New Blog!My Profile

  4. What a great review – I’m always on the look out for books showing life in other parts of Africa and I haven’t heard of this one. I’ll be looking for it!
    Jody recently posted…DIY Homeschool: Pre-K Curriculum GuidelinesMy Profile

  5. This one would be a good one for us to check of since my son is starting kindergarten. It would be neat to compartment similarities and difference from his experience to hers.
    Ann recently posted…5 FavesMy Profile

  6. Sounds like a very neat book, I need to check it out!

    Maria recently posted…How to Prepare My Child For Preschool or KindergardenMy Profile

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