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books with African characters

(35 Posts)
delphinedownunder Mon 25-Feb-13 03:26:05

I am a teacher in NZ and i have a new child in my class who is from Zimbabwe. I have been all through our library and the number of books we have that include African characters or even faces is really limited - lots of Maori and Pacific children as you would expect, but African families are just so rare outside of the small number of schools with Somalian refuge children and so are widely available books that include African faces. Today i found a non fiction book about breakfasts around the world that included photos of an African family and the child was so excited. She cried out "These people are just like me, look!" I am desperately looking for some more books I can buy from the UK to read to the class - so far, i have identified the Handa books and the Akimbo books. Any more suggestions?

complexnumber Wed 13-Mar-13 07:03:25

AustralEd is a book supply company that supplies books to International Schools/schools that teach IB, so they try to feature books from many cultures. They also put together recommended book lists.

Seeline Tue 12-Mar-13 12:34:14

I don't know what age you are dealing with but the Lauren St John books in the White Giraffe series are lovely. They are set in South Africa and centre on the African wildlife.

overthehill Tue 12-Mar-13 12:28:55

Do you know about Letterbox Library? (Sorry if link doesn't work, have been fiddling with it for ages!). They specialise in multicultural books and have little synopses of the books on their website.

Horopu Tue 12-Mar-13 07:53:30

Just want to check delphinedownunder that if you are going to order books in NZ that you know about the book depository and their free delivery service. (Apologies if my 2 suggestions are teaching my grandmother to suck eggs).

ecofreckle Mon 11-Mar-13 22:32:10

A triangle for adora is nice, it's about shapes so can link in with maths for under 8s.

nancy75 Mon 11-Mar-13 18:28:51

nancy75 Mon 11-Mar-13 18:25:21

The author of those no 1 ladies detective agency books wrote a couple for kids, they are called precious & the monkey and precious and the mere cat. My dd is 7 and loves them both, they are set in either zim or Tanzania, can't remember which.

Horopu Mon 11-Mar-13 18:19:35

Could you put in a request to the National Library Service to Schools?

nenevomito Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:07

Its published by Tamarind books HERE and they have a great selection that may appeal.

nenevomito Tue 26-Feb-13 16:55:25

Zia the orchestra - HERE is a great book about a child having fun.

Leeds2 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:53:02

I Love my Hair is brilliant!

jetstar Tue 26-Feb-13 00:03:44

The Hunter by Paul Geraghty is a nice story.
An angel just like me by Mary Hoffman
If you search Mary Hoffman on Amazon it comes up with all sorts of books featuring African children! I like the look of 'I love my hair' smile

KatherinaMinola Mon 25-Feb-13 22:44:10

DD likes The Boy on the Beach by Niki Daly.

thornrose Mon 25-Feb-13 22:37:29

So much by Trish Cooke, it's about an African American family, my mixed race dd loved it.

timtam23 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:27:49

oops *Nigerian

timtam23 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:27:08

Have also heard very good things about Chidi Only Likes Blue (by the same author as A is for Africa - Nigrian)

timtam23 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:19:52

Am on a roll now!

Mama Panya's Pancakes is another one (based in Kenya)

A is for Africa (another ABC book - lovely photographs)

We All Went On Safari (my son's class - age 4 & 5 - read this book as part of their "Africa week" school project)

We're Going On A Lion Hunt (another one from my son's class!)

QueenofDreams Mon 25-Feb-13 22:15:37

There's one I remember from school called Bonolo and the Peach Tree by Jabulo Ndebele. I should remember more to be honest as I grew up in Africa and we read LOADS of books by African authors with African characters but that's the only one I can remember!

timtam23 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:10:42

In fact have just seen on Amazon UK that the Animals ABC author is Zimbabwean!

timtam23 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:07:33

As well as Handa, Jamela etc we have these 3 books at home which are African stories

The Honey Hunters by Francesca Martin - a traditional African folk tale with absolutely beautiful illustrations

Esther and the Baby Baboon by Susan Gates - this is (I think) based in West Africa but the illustrations and animals would be familiar to your pupil I'm sure. It's for slightly older readers but would be a lovely one to read to a class. I got mine in a 2nd hand shop, I think it is now out of print - can't find it to buy new anywhere -but it is on UK Ebay for 99p with worldwide postal options!

African Animals ABC by Philippa Alys-Browne , this is an ABC with gorgeous illustrations - Southern Africa I think so would perhaps be very familiar animals for a Zimbabwean child

GobblersKnob Mon 25-Feb-13 18:11:48

Quite a few here Handa's Surprise is a great book, both of mine loved it.

Theas18 Mon 25-Feb-13 18:11:43

Alexander McCall Smith (he of the No 1 detective agency) has written kids books for older than picture books- short chapters

BigSpork Mon 25-Feb-13 18:07:50

Lots of great books on here already.

If it's appropriate for the age you use colouring book/pages/stickers, is great. The colouring books come with a couple pages of stickers in the back.

Takver Mon 25-Feb-13 18:00:19

Not sure what age your pupils are, OP, but if they're younger there's an Anna Hibiscus picture book, too (Anna Hibiscus's Song I think is the title)

Leeds2 Mon 25-Feb-13 16:19:20

I work as a volunteer in a school library, and recently ordered a quantity of books from, who specialise in multi cultural books. Might be worth taking a look to give you some ideas. The children at my school love Amazing Grace.

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