Tag Archives: Africa

I Just Want to Say Good Night














I Just Want to Say Good Night
by Rachel Isadora
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016

An innocent, loving African girl says good night to the fish, to the bird, to the goat.  She goes on in the African savannah to say good night to the monkey, the ants, and the rock.  She says good night to any and all things she can find to avoid going to bed.  When she gets into bed, she says good night to her book.  When she looks out her window at the full moon, she says, “Good night, moon!”, while holding her book, Good Night Moon.

Illustrated in clear, bright oils with black ink, the artist/author captures perfectly the innocence of a young girl who goes through her good-night ritual to make her good day even better. The brilliant, moving illustrations are startling, warm and comforting all at once and invite the reader to “just look at the pictures.”  A very nurturing bedtime story.

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The Storyteller













The Storyteller

by Evan Turk
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016

Ancient storytellers draw in readers one scene, one suspense at a time; so enthralled are the listeners, that they barely notice they are under the storyteller’s spell.

The Storyteller does what a good storyteller does, wraps one story inside another, inside another and always leaves you wanting for more—the true magic of a storyteller.

This story is about a boy who lives in the Moroccan deserts and finds himself on the doorway of death, when he meets an ancient, long forgotten storyteller.  The storyteller charms the boy with stories of a glorious blue bird and rich, blue miraculous yarns.  That night the sandstorm announces he will return at sundown take over the kingdom.  Inspired, the boy offers to tell him a story, and he repeats the storyteller’s story, stretching the story out two nights.  In that time, the boy gathers water sellers and through his own ingenuity, finds a way to save the city.

In an oversized format dressed in Moroccan colors and arts, readers will eagerly be swept off to another land in the magic of the storyteller.

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Imani’s Moon (2014 Best Picture Book for Girls!)

imanis moon












Imani’s Moon
by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
Mackinac Island Press, 2014
Children’s Book of the Year, Principal’s Award
NAESP Children’s Book of the Year Award
2014 Mighty Girl Book for Young Readers
2015 Reading Is Fundamental – Multicultural Book

Imani’s Moon inspires young girls to reach for their dreams.   This is my pick for the best picture book for girls!

Set in Africa, Imani, the smallest girl in her tribe, is teased by the other children.  She is told, “…you’ll never accomplish anything!”  At night her mama lifts her spirits with stories.  One story was of Olapa, the goddess of the moon who fought a great battle against the god of the sun and triumphed.  Imani dreams of doing something great like Olapa and decides she will “touch the moon.”  The others laugh when Imani announces her dream, yet they follow her.  For two days she attempts two creative ways to touch the moon, but they fail.  Greatly disappointed, she returns home where young warriors were performing the adumu, the jumping dance.  Inspired, she knows that’s how she will reach the moon.

Beautifully written and illustrated Imani’s Moon is rich with love, bold colors, and one young girl’s determination.  The story ends with Imani telling her mother a story, The Tale of the Girl Who Touched the Moon.

When I read Imani’s Moon to a very active third grader, she sat quiet for the whole story.  When I brought it back later to re-read, she ‘read’ it to me—from memory!  Imani’s Moon is a powerful story.

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