Theme: Folk Tales

Mufaro’s beautiful daughters

Mufaro’s beautiful daughters

Author: John Steptoe (2008)
Description: Steptoe’s last offering is an adaptation of a Xhosa tale from South Africa. Steptoe has changed the setting of the story from Xhosa land to old Zimbabwe. As in the old tale, the focus is on sisters with opposite natures. One is kind and gentle, the other bad-tempered and selfish. Each hopes to be chosen by the king to be his wife. In addition to learning that good behavior is rewarded and ill deeds are punished, children soak up the atmosphere of rural and city life in an ancient African kingdom. The book can serve as a useful means of introducing children to the variety of architectural structures in ancient Zimbabwe. Thatched houses and massive stone structures are both featured in the illustrations. The drawings of buildings and people are detailed and stunningly realistic. Storytellers searching for a good read aloud will find this book ably fills the bill. © Africa Access

The sacred door and other stories

Author: Makuchi (2008)
Description: Makuchi shares the oral narratives from her childhood in Cameroon, infusing them with riddles, songs, proverbs, myths and legends. The 33 tales in this book cover universal themes, but acknowledge the differences between human cultures.





Sundiata: Lion king of Mali

Author: David Wisniewski (1992).
Description: The story of Sundiata, who overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule Mali in the thirteenth century. Winner of the 1993 African Studies Association’s Best Children’s Book on Africa





Author: Ron and Justine Fontes (2009); Sandy, Carruthers (illus.)
Description: Sunjata, the founder of the Mali empire, is celebrated in Sunjata : Warrior King of Mali. The legend is retold in graphic novel format by Justine and Ron Fontes and illustrated by Sandy Carruthers. The Fontes based their retelling of the Sunjata epic on tales in Epic Ancestors of the Sundjata Era recorded by David Conrad.



Why monkeys live in trees and other stories from Benin

Author: Raouf Mama (2006)
Description: Benin, formerly Dahomey, is in West Africa. It is a country rich in oral stories, passed on from generation to generation. Raouf Mama, a storyteller himself as well as a teacher and orator, draws on this rich tradition and includes stories from many of Benin’s indigenous groups. Mama is wise enough to include many types of stories in his collection, tricksters, fables, heroes, sacred stories and other types of stories, each with its own moral. The stories include: Come and hear my story — Blessed are the storytellers, for they are the keepers of the word — Why monkeys live in trees — Why the sun shines by day and the moon by night — Why bee makes honey and snake crawls on its belly — How goat got out of trouble. © Africa Access