Word of the day:Bouquet 

Say it: bu-kei

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A group of flowers that are picked and often tied together.

Etymology:French

Synonyms: Posy, Nosegay, Spray, Sprig.

Use in a sentence: The bride carried a bouquet of white and red roses.

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Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown girl dreaming it’s the story of a girl finding her voice and her purpose. If there’s a theme to children’s literature this year it is in the relationship between stories and lies. Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Margi Preus’s West of the Moon both spend a great deal of time examining the relationship between the two.

The short poems are a gift too and made me think of April when the Academy of American Poets leads a nationwide celebration called Poem in Your Pocket Day. There are plenty of candidates for poems you can keep in your pocket in “Brown Girl Dreaming.” I especially loved the series of numbered short poems, threaded throughout the book, called “How to Listen.” This is No. 8:

Do you remember . . . ?
someone’s always asking and
someone else, always does.

For young readers in the process of discovering what Anna Julia Cooper so beautifully called “when and where I ­enter,” there are poems galore. Poems about sibling rivalry, poems about parents who don’t take no mess, poems about grown-ups who make a mess of things and, most poignantly, poems about the friends who help see you through. Such as this one, in “Maria.”

Late August now
home from Greenville and ready
for what the last of the summer brings me.
All the dreams this city holds
right outside — just step through the door and walk
two doors down to where
my new best friend, Maria, lives. Every morning,
I call up to her window, Come outside
or she rings our bell, Come outside.
Her hair is crazily curling down past her back,
the Spanish she speaks like a song
I am learning to sing.
Mi amiga, Maria.
Maria, my friend.

This is a book full of poems that cry out to be learned by heart. These are poems that will, for years to come, be stored in our bloodstream.It’s the book adults will wish they’d read as children. It’s the book that hundreds of thousands of children will read and continue to read for decades upon decades upon decades. It’s Woodson’s history and our own. It is amazing.

Book: Brown girl dreaming

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Word of the day:Epiphany

Say it: epi-phani

Part of speech: Noun

Definition:A moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.

Etymology: French

Synonyms: Flash, Insight, Vision,Realisation

Use in a sentence:Seeing her father again when she was an adult was an epiphany that changed her whole view of her childhood.

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Authors Birthdays: April

Yusef Komunyakaa (born April 29, 1947) is an African American poet who teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Komunyakaa is a recipient of the 1994 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, for Neon Vernacular and the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Komunyakaa received the 2007 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the poetry world.His subject matter ranges from the black general experience through rural Southern life before the Civil Rights era and his experience as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

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  • Bankole Ajibabi Omotosho – 21 April 1943
  • Chalmers Archer – 21 April 1928 –died 24 February 2014
  • Unity Dow – 23 April 1959
  • Charles Richard Johnson – 23 April 1948
  • Dr. Ifi Amadiume – 23 April 1947
  • Gabriel jibaba Okara – 25 April 1921
  • Caetano da Costa Alegre – 26 April 1864 –died 18 April 1890
  • Robert Kirby – 26 April 1936 – 10 February 2007
  • Solomon Mangwiro Mutswairo – 26 April 1924 – died November 2005
  • Marilyn Nelson – 26 April 1946
  • Peter Nazareth – 27 April 1940
  • Jessie Redmond Fauset – 27 April 1884 – died 30 April 1961
  • Barolong Seboni – 27  April 1957
  • Frédéric Fernand Guirma – 27 April 1931
  • August Wilson – 27 April 1945 –died 2 October 2005
  • Kenneth David Kaunda – 28 April 1924
  • Marita Golden – 28 April 1950
  • Yusef Komunyakaa – 29 April 1941
  • Alda Neves da Graça do Espírito Santo – 30 April 1926 –died 9 March 2010
  • Dr Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu – 30 April 1941

World Book Day

Hey Word Nerds get ready to celebrate the most powerful tools ‘Books’. 23 April is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date in 1616. Join us tomorrow at our Mzansi Spelling Bee Facebook page to take part in the online Book Swap. Books makes us much smarter, travel the world just by flipping through the pages of a great travel novel and most excitedly to increase your intellectual swag.

Why we celebrate World Book Day :

  • To raise awareness about the importance of reading
  • To reach out and give people access to books
  • To educate people to take care for their library facilities
  • To celebrate books
  • To love words

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Authors birthdays: April

Dr. Ifi Amadiume (born 23 April 1947) is a Nigerian poet, anthropologist and essayist. She joined the Religion Department of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, U.S. in 1993.Born in Kaduna to Igbo parents, Amadiume was educated in Nigeria before moving to Britain in 1971.

She studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, gaining a BA (1978) and PhD (1983) in social anthropology. Her fieldwork in Africa resulted in two ethnographic monographs relating to the Igbo – African Matriarchal Foundations (1987), and the award-winning Male Daughters Female Husbands (Zed Press, 1987). A book of theoretical essays, Reinventing Africa, appeared in 1998.

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She is on the advisory board of the Centre for Democracy and Development, a non-governmental organisation that aims to promote the values of democracy, peace and human rights in Africa, particularly in the West African sub-region.

Dr Amadiume is widely regarded for her pioneering work in feminist discourse: Her work has made a tremendous contribution to new ways of thinking about sex and gender, the question of power, and women’s place in history and culture”.She has nevertheless attracted criticism for her “assumption that [the] female is necessarily equated with peace and love.

  • Bob Kaufman – 18 April 1925 – died 12 January 1986
  • Etheridge Knight – 19 April 1931 –died 10 March 1991
  • Chalmers Archer – 21 April 1928 –died 24 February 2014
  • Charles Richard Johnson – 23 April 1948
  • John van de Ruit – 20 April 1975
  • Abdoulaye Ascofaré -20 April 1949
  • Bankole Ajibabi Omotosho – 21 April 1943
  • Unity Dow – 23 April 1959
  • Dr. Ifi Amadiume – 23 April 1947

Author birthdays: April

Olawale Gladstone Emmanuel Rotimi, best known as Ola Rotimi (13 April 1938 – 18 August 2000),was one of Nigeria’s leading playwrights and theatre directors. He has been called “a complete man of the theatre – an actor, director, choreographer and designer – who created performance spaces, influenced by traditional architectural forms.

  • Lionel Abrahams – 11 April 1928 – died  31 May 2004
  • Walid Soliman – 11 April  1975
  • Lyall Watson – 12 April 1939 – died 25 June 2008
  • K. Sello Duiker – 13 April 1974 – died 19 January 2005
  • Euphrase Kezilahabi – 13 April 1944
  • Ola Rotimi – 13 April 1938 – died 18 August 2000
  • Nellallitea “Nella” Larsen – 13 April 1891 – died 30 March 1964
  • Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio – 13 April 1940
  • Anne Landsman – 14 April 1959
  • Omar Rashad Tyree – 15 April 1969
  • Essex Hemphill – 16 April 1957 –died 4 November 1995
  • Mariama Bâ – 17 April 1929 –died 17 August 1981
  • Theophilus Gould Steward – 17 April 1843 – died 11 January 1924