Great African Reads discussion

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Great African Reads: Books > Picture books about Africa

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message 1: by Andrea (last edited Feb 09, 2009 10:55AM) (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Hi All,
My kids and I are working on compiling and rating all the picture books for kids we can remember reading about Africa. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has books they have enjoyed/hated etc. that would fit that category. You can see my list under my profile if you are interested.


message 2: by Manu (new)

Manu (manuherb) | 166 comments Hi Andrea

Niki Daly was in Accra running a workshop a couple of months back. I had lunch with with him. Meant to look him up when I was in Cape Town but left it too late.

I suggest adding the books of the prize-winning Ghanaian illustrator and story teller, Meshack Asare. He lives in the UK but was at a recent conference of the Pan African Writers Association in Accra. Great stuff.

Every two years Macmillan runs a competition for African writers for children. There are three classes: senior, junior and illustrated. Well worth a look.

There has been a minor explosion of locally written and published books for children in Ghana recently, but my guess is that you won't be able to lay hands on any of them so there's not much senses compiling a list for you.


message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Thanks, Manu. Niki Daly is certainly one of our all time favorites. The scenes from his books, although set in South Africa, are very reminiscent of Kenya. I will look for Asare's books. My university has a cooperative ed program with the University of Cape Coast, so maybe I can find a faculty member who could look into books for me.


message 4: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) Sebgugugu the Glutton A Bantu Tale from Rwanda is another one by Verna Aardema which I liked.

If you're including Egypt in your Africa list, there's also The Day of Ahmed's Secret, Goodnight my Cairo, Ten Tales of Goha, and if you like nonfiction, I just published An ABC Escapade through Egypt.


message 5: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Thank you for the suggestions, Bernadette. I'll try to check them out.


message 6: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (leannehardy) I see a lot of my favorites on your list and some new ones I need to check out. My list contains a lot fo books published in South Africa. (I love Niki Daly. Also Marjorie van Heerden, especially Lulama's Long Way Home. On my profile the shelf called Lindiwe's List is especially aimed at African children and includes titles about HIV. I'm hoping to find others who work with affected children to share books that have worked for them.

Andrea wrote: "Hi All,
My kids and I are working on compiling and rating all the picture books for kids we can remember reading about Africa. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has books they have enjoyed/hate..."





message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Thanks to LeAnne too. I think I'm going to end up with a great list.


message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather | 1 comments When Africa Was Home, by Karen Lynn Williams and Floyd Cooper - this one is esp. sweet for kids who have lived over there. It captures the wistful longing of those who leave it behind...

Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill: An African Mother Goose - by Virginia L. Kroll & Katherine Roundtree - DELIGHTFUL. I taught American kids living in rural Uganda a few years back, and they couldn't get enough of this book.





message 9: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (leannehardy) My grown kids gave me When Africa Was Home for Christmas a couple years ago because if reflected their feelings so well even though they grew up in a completely different part of Africa


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Yes, this is a beautiful book. I will add it to my list.


message 11: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (leannehardy) I hit a couple Johannesburg bookstores today and added several things to my list that you might want to check out. I was most interested in Limpopo Lullaby inspired by the woman who gave birth in a tree during the 2000 Mozambican floods. We used to live in Mozambique so I am especially excited to show this to my (grown) kids. The pictures are gorgeous although the story is a bit frightening for young children.


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