I recently shared on Twitter, that Golden Baobab has invited me to be one of their judges for the junior category of this year’s Golden Baobab Prize. This literary award, which was established in 2008, aims at promoting and inspiring the writing of African children’s literature. The organization’s stated dream is “in ten years to see bookstores all over the world overflowing with beautifully written and illustrated African books for children and young adults”. It’s an amazing experience to be part of their judging team and I feel honored to be working alongside Brenda Randolph and Meshack Asare for such a worthy cause.
In this context, one of my Twitter friends, ACob, a PYP and MYP teacher librarian, asked me for suggestions of African children’s literature. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of my (and my students’) favorite titles through my blog (which I have badly neglected for far too long). This is just a selection, with mainly titles from and about Ghana for elementary students. Let me know, if you are interested in more. If you have a favorite title why not share it in a comment to this post. Thanks!
Some great fiction titles:
Asare, Meshack. Tawia goes to sea. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007.
Daly, Niki. Pretty Salma : a Little Red Riding Hood story from Africa. New York: Clarion Books, 2007.
Milway, Katie S. One hen : how one small loan made a big difference. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2008.
Asare, Meshack. The cross drums. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2008.
Jarman, Julia. The magic backpack. New York: Crabtree Pub., 2004.
Johnson, Anthony K. Bamboo girl. Oxford: Macmillan Education, 2004.
Mussi, Sarah. The door of no return. London: Holder's Children's Books, 2007.
Some great folktales:
Aardema, Verna. Anansi does the impossible! : an Ashanti tale. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2000.
Asare, Meshack. Kwajo and the brassman's secret : a tale of old Ashanti wisdom and gold. Legon, Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2002.
Badoe, Adwoa, and Baba W. Diakite. The pot of wisdom : Ananse stories. Accra: EPP Books Services, 2005.
Gregorowski, Christopher, and Niki Daly. Fly, eagle, fly! : a Ghanaian fable. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007.
Kimmel, Eric A. Anansi and the moss-covered rock. New York: Holiday House, 1988.
Musgrove, Margaret. The spider weaver : a legend of Kente cloth. New York: Blue Sky Press, 2001.
Souhami, Jessica. The leopard's drum : an Asante tale from West Africa. Accra: EPP Books Services, 2005.
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock.
Some great nonfiction titles:
Ahiagble, Gilbert B., and Louise Meyer. Master weaver from Ghana. Seattle, Wash.: Open Hand Publishing, 1998.
Angelou, Maya. Kofi and his magic. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1996.
Blauer, Ettagale, and Jason Lauré. Ghana. New York: Children's Press, 2010.
Currie-McGhee, L K. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah : champion for Ghana's disabled. Detroit, MI: KidHaven Press, 2007.
Knowles, Kathy. A is for ampe : an alphabet book from Ghana. Winnipeg: Osu Children's Library Fund, 2006. (There are many other great titles by Kathy Knowles, e.g. The Yellow Book, One Little Crab, Otu Goes To Sea.)
Larson, Lyn. Ghana. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications, 2011.
Onyefulu, Ifeoma. Deron goes to nursery school. London: Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2010.
Onyefulu, Ifeoma. Welcome Dede! : An African naming ceremony. London: Frances Lincoln, 2005.
Provencal, Francis, and Catherine McNamara. Nii Kwei's day : from dawn to dusk in a Ghanaian city. London: Frances Lincoln, 2003.