Emma Walker's Reviews > Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
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's review
May 02, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

I read this book before introducing the topic of 'stories from another culture' to a class of year 5 children. This story, based in Zimbabwe, follows two sisters Manyara and Nyasha who both want to be chosen as the King's wife.

The two sisters are very different characters, with Nyasha being presented as loving, caring and kind, whereas her sister Manyara is rather mean, jealous and inconsiderate. The story, like many of its kind, considered the morals that an individual should have, and ultimately 'taught a lesson' to the reader. Manyara did not fare well in this story due to her selfish ways. It was Nyasha, who showed true love and care for others that was eventually chosen to be the King’s wife.
The activities that I was able to create based on the book were extensive. This story allowed the pupils in my class to consider the features of traditional tales in the UK and compare them to those form other cultures. They were able to make predictions about the story based on their knowledge of traditional tales. These included diary entries based on the contrasting feeling of the characters as well as descriptive writing on the many settings presented in the story i.e. forest, palace, village and city.

Altogether, this was a lovely book to read as a class, with beautiful illustrations and many subjects for further discussion.
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