Kele’s Secret

A young Tanzanian boy named Yoanes must overcome his fear of a spooky shed, the scariest place on his grandparents’ farm, to follow Kele to find out where she lays her egg. Of all his grandmother Koko’s chickens, Kele is the cleverest hider of her eggs. The reward for Yoanes if he can find Kele’s hidden eggs to fill the egg bowl is to accompany Koko to the market. There Koko will sell the eggs and give him a precious ten cent coin, with which Yoanes can buy any snack he wishes.

Kele’s Secret begins

Grandmother Koko’s hens laid their eggs in the strangest places.

One egg I found in the dark, cluttered loft of Grandfather Akwi’s bedroom.

Another was in the gloomy cow barn on straw brought in for a sleeping calf.

I came upon one more in a spidery corner of the outhouse near Akwi’s coffee farm.

Yet another lay on a cushion of leaves deep in a cluster of gnarled bamboo roots and stems.

Carefully… I placed all the day’s eggs in a gigantic checkered bowl in Grandmother Koko’s bedroom.

…(And) I wished the bowl were full already.


A warm family story with universal appeal, lovingly told.

School Library Journal