Friday, July 20, 2018

5 Fabulous African Fiction Picture Books

Niki Daly, author and illustrator
Malusi is a herd boy in a mountainous region of South Africa. He wakes up early each morning to watch and care for his family’s herd. Visited by his friend, Lungisa, they play and share dreams. Malusi wants to be president, but Lungisa thinks that it is funny to aspire to such a lofty goal. When a baboon threatens the flock, Malusi fights to save the endangered lamb. Later, he is visited by an old man who encourages him: “A boy who looks after his herd will make a very fine leader.” In his humble job, Malusi learns self-discipline, bravery, and compassion—all the qualities of a great leader.

Tololwa M. Mollel, author
Catherine Stock, illustrator
Yoanes helps his grandmother by collecting the eggs laid around the farm—in the cluttered loft, in the barn, and, even, in the corner of the outhouse. One clever chicken though hides her eggs.  It is up to Yoanes to discover her secret place, but he will have to overcome his own fears in doing so! 

Tololwa M. Mollel, author
E. B. Lewis, illustrator
Every week Saruni helps his mother sell their produce at the market, earning him a 10 cent coin. There are so many options to use his money for, but instead he carefully saves it week after week in order to earn enough money to buy a bike to help his family.  This beautiful story about self-discipline, perseverance, and selflessness transcends culture and continent.

Isaac Olaleye, author
Claudia Shepard, illustrator
Ade and Tayo are given instructions to do their chores and stay in the village. The mischievous boys though decide to cross the field and stream in search of fun and sweet berries.  Pulled by curiosity toward the mysterious waters of the river, the boys become cornered by a snake. They cleverly outsmart it and run back to safety of the village...while dreading the trouble they are in for disobeying.

Jeanette Winter, author & illustrator
During the dry season, Elsina dreams of clouds and the rain they will bring.  In the tradition of her people,  her parents allow her to paint the walls of their house in hopes of her ancestors hearing her prayers. Every day she wakes up, waiting for an answer. She waits and waits…until finally, she sees black clouds and hears the roll of thunder.  With the rain comes new crops and healthy livestock that help her family survive. 


  1. Chelanne--Thanks for answering my note! I'm commenting here because I'm very excited not just by IN DADDY"S ARMS but this list of books and especially MY ROWS AND PILES OF COINS, which will be a perfect complement to ALEXANDER WHO USED TO BE RICH LAST SUNDAY when we learn about money. Thank you for these reviews!

    1. I am glad you enjoy these reviews. Thanks for letting me know. I hope you enjoy My Rows and Piles of Coins.


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