World Africa Day is upon us. Every year on May 25th we celebrate the history of this great continent, the struggles, the victorious milestones, and the future we aspire to. There are many wonderful children’s books that gives kids a chance to African experience history, and everyday life. After all, books are windows and mirrors for our young readers who are still learning about our their diverse communities, and sometimes complex surroundings.
Here are some of my favorites.
The Wooden Camel
Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo’s father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one’s dreams alive.
Buy it here- The Wooden Camel
Idia of the Benin Kingdom is an award-winning, empowering children’s picture book that takes readers on a beautifully illustrated journey to the 1500s in ancient Africa.
Based on true historical events, this story captivates readers as they watch Idia transform herself from the young and curious daughter of a village warrior to becoming the Queen of the Kingdom of Benin.
Idia was an actual queen who helped rule the ancient kingdom of Benin with her wisdom, charisma, and prowess. Much has been written about her bravery, and artifacts in her image are treasured in museums all over the world.
This book imagines what her childhood may have been like, and shares the story of this well-loved and successful African queen in a way that is relatable to young readers.
Buy it here- Idia of the Benin Kingdom
Adventure in Morocco (Makanaka’s World)
This story takes children on an adventure to Morocco. The main character Makanaka, is invited to a soccer game by her friend Nadia in Morocco. Fari the parrot, and Makanaka quickly take off for Casablanca. But when they arrive, they discover that Nadia has a problem. Someone has taken her team’s soccer ball! Can Makanaka and Fari help Nadia’s team solve the mystery? This book is great for social studies. Kid will learn some geography, foreign words, and bits of the culture.
Buy it here- Adventure in Morocco
How Many Ways Can You Say Hello?
Sara’s first day of school is full of surprises, but the biggest one of all is that there is more than one way to say hello. So during the holidays she sets off on a journey around the country in a hot air balloon, to learn them all (in Venda, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Swati, Zulu, Tsonga, Ndebele, Tswana, Pedi, and Sotho). This delightful story of rhyming verse, accompanied by charming illustrations is a must for all young South African children.
Buy it here- How Many Ways Can You Say Hello?
Africa Amazing Africa
Atinuke’s first non-fiction title is a major publishing event: a celebration of all 55 countries on the African continent! Her beautifully-written text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity. The book divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations. The richest king, the tallest sand dunes and the biggest waterfall on the planet are all here, alongside drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities and nomads who use GPS! This is non-fiction at its most exciting, exhilarating and energetic, illustrated with passion and commitment by a great new talent, Mouni Feddag.
Buy it here- Africa Amazing Africa
Happy reading! 🙂