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The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth
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The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  23 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award and the African Studies Association Outstanding Book Award, here is a lavish retelling of an age-old African creation myth. Based on the legends of the Yoruba, an ancient West African culture, this full-color, cultural experience provides today's young readers with a unique bridge to the past.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Sights Productions (first published 1991)
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Michelle Pegram
This book tells the creation story of the Yoruba people of west Africa. The illustrations are incredible with a focus on vibrant color that helps to bring the creation story to life - no pun intended.

Unfortunately, the story does not have the same sense of life. Where the pictures are full of joy and beauty, the prose is weighty and stilted. As an adult, I was still able to see and appreciate the beauty of the story, but I don't think that most children would be able to do so. A good read-aloud
This book won the Coretta Scott King award in 1993. it tells the tale of the Yoruba people and how they believe the world came to be. They believe that there is an all powerful God that lives in the sky. Under this God there are several other Demi-Gods as well. They are powerful but not as powerful as the main God. They live in the sky and want for nothing because of a magical tree that gives them whatever they need for survival. One of the Demi-Gods was not happy with this arrangement because h ...more
Breauna Hale
This books retells an ancient African creation myth about how earth was created. It tells the story of how The all powerful God, Olorun, who lived in the sky sent a servant to create earth.This myth is beautifully retold with very distinct illustration. This book relates to the African culture because it is a myth that has been passed down for years within the African culture. It is good for young readers to be introduced to a story from so long ago that has been written out and illustrated so t ...more
Briana Nelson
This story explains the creation myth and how earth came to be. This African creation myth briefly describes various Gods and powerful creators followed by beautiful illustrations. Olorun- the all-powerful God- lived in the sky and sends a servant to create earth. The pictures are bold and colorful to represent the creation of life. Each photo brought life to the story. This book was challenging to read as a children’s book because although the pictures were interesting, the story was hard to co ...more
Teneka Howland
(3rd - 5th grade)

Anderson retells an ancient story of how the earth began. This book does have some vocabulary that is most likely unfamiliar to many young readers. For this reason, a little prior knowledge would be beneficial. There is a glossary in the back of the book that defines some of these words. This book was very enlightening as it provided an alternate view of how the world began. I really enjoyed the choice of colors and medium used by the illustrator. The use of water color gave the
Leah Gerber
I found this book to be much different than the other Coretta Scott King Award winners. Its illustrations were very unique and show a creative viewpoint of the story for the children. The Africans are dressed traditionally, wearing robes and hats that were colorful and patterned. The facial features of the characters were nonexistent. Up in the clouds there is a spiritual community of people who are making a meal together and giving offerings of food. Then one of the characters makes a golden ch ...more
John Sullivan
The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth is a well-written and illustrated book. The Illustrations were made using water colors and colored pencils, and they are vivid and clear. Many different shapes are used, and the colors are those found on traditional African clothes, which is a fun aspect. The pictures enhance the story (each one tells its own unique narrative) and the reader is able to imagine and interpret the scene in different ways. Students would find this story interesti ...more
3rd grade - 5th grade

I give this story a three because I thought it was a little too long. The illustrations are very moving and cultural. There is a great use of color in the pictures, they definitely aid in telling the story. But the story itself was interesting because it is from another culture and would be interesting to compare to other origin myths.

Language Arts/Social Studies

Lesson Plan: I would have a unit around this book. The unit would show how different cultures have different orig
Amy Fretz
Each picture in this book uses a wide range of bold colors that are shown in the scene and garments of the characters. The people in the book are black silhouettes. Doing this puts the emphasis on the colors, which are found in nature. The color yellow is most prominent in the pages because of the importance of gold within the book. The story is illustrated well throughout the book and it is evident what is happening in the text without reading.
Holly Nelson
This book is beautifully illustrated with pages of color paintings. It shows David Anderson’s colorful and vivid retelling of an old African creation myth. The pictures provide the reader with cultural experiences about the myth throughout the pages. The pictures are very clear to the reader and depict the message throughout the book.
Julie Unruh
What a wonderful book, I learned from reading that book that Obatala was the orishas (the powerful messengers of God; but I call them angels) he is the guardian of all the disabled people in the world.
1993 CSKing Illustrator Winner

A very interesting take on the Creation of Life.
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