I am so excited to participate in Multicultural Children's Book Day with Pragmatic Mom and so many other amazing bloggers! If you haven't checkout out pragmaticmom.com, please click the link to visit the very talented Mia and her amazingly helpful, informative, and entertaining blog. No really, go ahead. Clink the link and visit Pragmatic Mom. I'll just sit here and wait for ya. (Surfs Instagram and waits) Back now? See I told you it was amazing. Let's get down to business. Africa is a continent that is majorly on my travel bucket list. There is so much diversity there, from safaris and elephants and giraffes to big cities that coexist with tribal traditions, the whole continent seems so attractive to me. Here are six books to celebrate Africa in all of its beauty.
- We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey through Tanzania
This beauty from Barefoot Books is a wealth of information and fun! Readers will follow Masai children on a Safari where they will learn how to count the animals they see in English and Swahili. Images of Tanzania and the Masai tribe are quintessentially African to me. Also in this book - wildlife species from the Serengeti, what the Masai people name their kids and why, facts about the country, and some of the most vivid and playful illustrations I have ever seen.
- Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove and pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon
This elegant Caldecott Winner fills the alphabet with traditions from across the continent and has some of the most beautiful African artwork I have ever seen. From "A" is for Ashanti weavers creating kente cloths to "Z" is for Zulu dancers leaping to salute their chief, this book exposed me to more than just the images of the Safari that is very familiar. It taught me and my kids about really rich traditions that are less known.
- Jambo Means Hello by Muriel Feelings and Tom Feelings
Swahili is the most widely spoken language in Africa, and this book teaches vocabulary coupled with very engaging black and white artwork. Swahili is so lyrical and musical! So fun to learn new words.
- Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema and Beatriz Vidal
This is a Kenyan folktale as told by legendary African folktale author, Verna Aardema. It is the story of Ki-pat, a boy who wants to help save his village and his livestock from a great drought. Ki-pat puts together a plan to bring the rain to his land. It is noted in the back of the book that this story was discovered by an anthropologist around ninety years ago, and it fascinated him because of the way it resembled the English folktale "The House that Jack Built". It has the same cumulative nature with each story element building on another, so for a long time, this story was called "The Nandi House that Jack Built" after the tribe where he was first told the story.
- Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya by Mary and Rich Chamberlin and Julia Cairns
This Barefoot Books story has so much to offer! A wonderful story, information about life in a Kenyan village, and a recipe for deliciously thin Kenyan pancakes. Adika and his mom, Mama Panya don't have a lot of material wealth, but they do have a very rich life. Loved this!
There is so much to know and learn from Nelson Mandela. This breaks down his life's work in a way children can understand and appreciate. Do you have any books to add to our journey to Africa? Thanks for visiting Booktomato today!