In the Small, Small Night

Kofi can’t sleep in his new home in the United States, so his older sister Abena soothes his fears about life in a different country by telling him two folktales from their native Ghana about the nature of wisdom and perseverance.

The Parade

Here are seven Ananse stories from Ghana pulsating with mischievous animals, a touch of moral message and, peeping out wickedly above them all, Ananse the trickster spider. The original title story, The Parade, telling why Ananse became a trickster in the first place, is a worthy opener to six traditional stories including the favourites Ananse and the Sky God and Ananse and the Hat of Beans. For centuries, Ananse stories have been used in Ghana and the Caribbean to entertain children and teach them good behaviour – and with their vibrant sense of fun and cunning, these stories are sure to have enduring appeal.

Joy to the World!: Christmas Stories from around the Globe

All over the world, there is a wealth of fascinating traditions and legends surrounding the Christmas story. Here are five festive folk tales, retold by Saviour Pirotta, originating from places as far-flung as Mexico and the Middle East, Northern Europe and North Africa. Sheila Moxley’s vivid artwork adds to the seasonal spirit, making this a true celebration of Christmas, throughout the world.

Read how the lost little camel’s perseverance, resourcefulness and bravery led him back to his mother and baby Jesus’ manger; How an old Baker woman’s kindness and ingenuity saves the life of Baby Jesus and feeds a starving village; The story of a how a goatherding father and daughter, guided by angels, journey to meet the newborn Saviour and present him with weeds that have been transformed into beautiful red Christmas flowers; How selfless little Kumbi puts the needs of others before her own and is rewarded with a gourd of overflowing water to replenish supplies amid drought in her village; Lastly, a Russian variation of the Father Christmas story, where Babushka delivers presents to children from her bottomless basket of toys.

The Leopard’s Drum: An Asante Tale from West Africa

Because Osebo the leopard won’t share his magnificent drum with anyone, Nyame the Sky-God offers a reward to whichever animal presents the drum to him.

Nii Kwei’s Day

Nii Kwei lives in Accra, the capital of Ghana. He gets up at 6 o’clock every morning. He helps his sisters and brother tidy up the compound, then he eats a breakfast of coco (corn porridge), bread, fried eggs and a chocolate drink. At 7:30 he goes to school in a taxi. Later, on his way home, he goes to Abraham’s material store with his mother. He ends the day playing football with his cousins, back at the compound. This book is part of the series A Child’s Day, photographic information books concentrating on the daily lives and experiences of children in countries around the world, published in association with Oxfam.

African Beginnings

From the ancient kingdom of Kush, whose black pharaohs ruled Egypt for nearly a century, to the sixteenth-century empire of the Kongo, whose emperor was so powerful he was able to halt the trade in slaves for a number of years, the African continent rang with a series of glorious civilizations that have had a lasting impact on the world’s history, and on American culture. James Haskins and Floyd Cooper have won numerous awards for their books for young people, including several Coretta Scott King Honor awards.

The Royal Drum: An Ashanti Tale

A read-aloud rebus treasure from the Ashanti in Ghana. Who is the laziest animal of all? All the animals gather together to help make a drum for the king of the jungle, but Anansi makes certain that Monkey ends up with the hardest job of all.

Between Sisters

The future looks bleak indeed for 16-year-old Gloria. Living in a poor area of Accra, she dreams of becoming a dressmaker, but after failing 13 out of 15 subjects on her final exams it seems unlikely to happen. Then a distant relative, Christine, offers to move Gloria to Kumasi to look after her son. In exchange, Christine will pay for Gloria to go to dressmaking school. In Kumasi everything seems possible, and life is grander than anything Gloria has ever experienced. But Kumasi is also full of temptations, like the popular boutique where the owner takes a fancy to Gloria and encourages her to buy clothes on credit. There’s also the smooth-talking Dr. Kusi, who gives Gloria rides in his red Passat and invites her to bring food to his apartment. Eventually betrayed by those around her, Gloria must reconcile her future, her family, and her desires.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 2

Deron Goes to Nursery School

Deron Goes to Nusery School is a title in the First Experiences series, a vivid new series portraying young children’s very first experiences of nursery school, time with grandparents, and other events. The first time for anything can be daunting, and these books set out to familiarize children, through simple read-aloud words and beautiful photos, with what seems at first unfamiliar but will eventually become a routine part of everyday life. Set in and photographed in Ghana in West Africa, these beautiful books brilliantly capture these universal early childhood experiences from the relatively unusual and revealing perspective of a country in the developing world. In Deron Goes to Nusery School, Deron watches his mother make his new school clothes. The next day he goes with her to the school and meets his new teacher, who shows him around the school and introduces him to the other children. Playing, singing, writing, eating lunch, resting, and listening to a story are all part of Deron’s exciting first day, and at the end he can’t wait to go back tomorrow. Written and photographed by an award-winning author, this is a uniquely heart-warming book to share with all young children.