Mambo's Toy Collection

Children - Picture Book
40 Pages
Reviewed on 01/27/2018
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Author Biography

When Gladys had her first son, she looked and looked . . . and looked for stories and pictures to share her African heritage with him. After a while, she resorted to writing short stories for him—in French. As an art and culture enthusiast, she then complemented the stories with illustrations so her son could see Africa through her lenses—the Africa she grew up in.

Gladys grew up in Cameroon and then moved to the US for her college education. Gladys holds a BS in computer science from BYU and an MBA from Seattle University. In her professional career, Gladys spent a decade at Microsoft as an engineer and then as a marketing professional. Gladys' passion for social enterprise prompted her to then open a design studio in Cameroon. Her stories are fully illustrated by local artists; this is an opportunity to promote authentic art, illustrate more of her many stories, and create local jobs.

Though she'll forever be an African Queen, Gladys now lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband and two sons. When she is not designing or writing books, Gladys is creating food in her kitchen, dancing to the beat of drums, or singing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

Mambo's Toy Collection by author Gladys Kenfack is a delightful children's book full of pages of vivid color, and beautiful illustrations that catch the eye. It incorporates the idea of recycling into the story line, and at the end there is a toy that can be built by a child and an adult, using specific steps. It reads effortlessly, and is a book that can be appreciated by young and not so young alike. The environment of the story line is exotic, and takes you out of the United States to a country far, far away, where times are simpler. Yet, the fun had by the boy inside its pages is contagious.

Gladys Kenfack's Mambo's Toy Collection was a breath of fresh air to read. I have never come across a particular story line such as this, and it really warmed me from head to toes. I feel that this book says so much, and is such a wonderful educational tool. It's not simply a story, there's much more behind it. The recycling element included in the book brought me out of my comfort zone, and made me think about all the refuse that is bogging our world down. It shakes you awake. It wakes you up to how others live, and even though they may live simpler lives, they are just as happy, perhaps even more so. If you are looking for a book to read to your child that you can appreciate as well, this is the book that you are going to want to read.