Kente Colors

A rhyming description of the kente cloth costumes of the Ashanti and Ewe people of Ghana and a portrayal of the symbolic colors and patterns.

B Is For Baby

“Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank, creators of the award-winning Baby Goes to Market, pair up again for a bright and beautiful first book of words. B is for Baby. B is for Brother. B is for going to see Baba! One morning after breakfast, Baby’s big brother is getting ready to take the basket of bananas all the way to Baba’s bungalow in the next village. He’ll have to go along the bumpy road, past the baobab trees, birds, and butterflies, and all the way over the bridge. But what he doesn’t realize is that his very cute, very curious baby sibling has stowed away on his bicycle. Little ones learning about language will love sounding out the words in this playful, vibrantly illustrated story set in West Africa”–Amazon.com.

Animal Village

The story is especially relevant to sub-Saharan Africa as it focuses on the devastation of drought and the importance of received knowledge. With its dual themes of wisdom and grit, the book happily entertains while it teaches the importance of hard work and persistence as keys to success.

Grandpa Cacao

As a little girl and her father work together to make her birthday cake, he tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast. Includes author’s note and a cake recipe.

Children of Blood and Bone

They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise. Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Children of Blood and Bone is the WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for August 2018 and is reviewed in Volume 11, Issue 3 of WOW Review: Reading Across Cultures.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears: A West African Tale

In this astonishingly beautiful and imaginatively illustrated picture book, Mosquito tells Iguana a tall tale that sets off a chain reaction that ends in jungle disaster. Iguana is so upset at being told such nonsense that he plugs his ears. So, of course, when Python says good morning, Iguana doesn’t hear and ignores him altogether. Python suspects Iguana is plotting mischief against him, so he hides in a rabbit hole – which terrifies Rabbit. And so this amusing African legend goes, until finally the chain of mishaps reaches Mother Owl, who reacts by refusing to hoot and wake in the sun.