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A Children’s Book Representing Each African Country

A Children’s Book Representing Each African Country

In our previous blog post, we compiled a list of the best African children's books. We wanted to curate another list with storybooks from each country in Africa. 

Africa is so vast, diverse, and rich in history, cultures, and traditions. One way of teaching your kids about Africa is by going from country to country. With our list, kids can learn about various African countries in a fun and simplified way.

Here are books from each African country. Please feel free to add more to our list. 

Algeria 

Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria

Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria follows 10-year old Yosef. When Yosef's widowed mother receives an inheritance, he offers to travel across the dangerous desert from Algiers to Egypt to collect the money. The caravan owner refuses to stop travel on the Sabbath and Yosef, who could never disobey the laws of the Sabbath, elects to stay in the desert by himself. Yosef prays with all his heart, and he is sent a magnificent tawny lion who guards him and leads him triumphantly to Cairo. 

This picture book story explores the importance of keeping a promise and obedience to religious laws.

Recommended Age: 5 - 8 years

Angola

Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba

Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba is another great African folklore based on the story of Queen Njinga, a renowned African legend. Queen Anna Njinga (circa 1581-1663) of Angola bravely fought against slave trade and European influence in the seventeenth century.

The book teaches the historical truth behind Queen Njinga's story of bravery in a simple and relatable manner to today's kids.

Recommended Age: 8 - 12 years

 

Benin

The Adventures of Obi and Titi: The Great Walls of Benin

The Adventures of Obi and Titi: The Great Walls of Benin starts off after the capture of Titi by Ezomo and Obi’s brave rescue of Idia. Their paths finally crossed once again, in Katunga, the home of Shango.Unfortunately, their plan to stop Ezomo was going terribly wrong as they watched in horror as Shango’s palace came crumbling down, with Ajaka and Joromi still inside it. Was their chance of saving their beloved Benin kingdom burning in the flames before them, or would hope rise from the smouldering ashes?

The book uses a beautiful blend of fact and fiction to take its readers on an untold journey across ancient Africa.

Recommended Age: All Ages

 

Botswana

Tale of a Baboon from Botswana 

Tale of a Baboon from Botswana is a story about an unmannerly baboon does not honor his promise to the tortoise, leaving the tortoise alone in the jungle late at night to find his way home. The tortoise then plans a party with his many animal friends for the baboon to teach the baboon manners.

The story is an African animal folklore story about manners and respecting others.

Recommended Age: 8 - 10 years

 

Burkina Faso

All Aboard for the Bobo Road

All Aboard for the Bobo Road follows Fatima and Galo. They load their luggage while their dad Big Ali drives the bus. Kids will help Fatima and Galo count bikes, sacks of rice, melons and even goats and chickens as the bus travels past Gurunsi houses, the hippo lake, waterfalls and jungle, all the way to Bobo. 

With the authentic setting in Burkina Faso drawn from the author's own experience, this is a wonderfully fun introduction for small children to an amazing culture.

Recommended Age: 4 - 9 years 

 

Burundi

 

Burundi

Burundi explores the tiny African country of Burundi. The country has had a long history of internal violence. Members of the Hutu and Tutsi tribes have often fought for control of Burundi. In 1993, the country's first democratically elected president, a Hutu, was voted into office; his assassination a few months later sparked a civil war that resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and a million refugees.

In November 2003, a peace agreement was signed that many observers hoped would end the bloodshed in Burundi. But although the peace has held for a decade, the country is still struggling to recover from its history of ethnic violence.

Recommended Age: 6+ years 

 

Cameroon

Snow Flower And The Panther

Snow Flower And The Panther is a story of a young girl called Snow Flower. She lives deep in the forests of Cameroon, in the heart of Central Africa, with her grandmother. One day Snow Flower is out collecting water with her friend, Remi. As they walk through the forest they hear a rustling sound nearby…What will Snow Flower and Remi do when they discover what is hiding in the bushes? 

Recommended Age: 2 - 6 years  

Cape Verde

Seaside Dream  

In Seaside Dream tomorrow is Grandma's birthday, and the house is overflowing with family and friends. Hugs, laughter, and the smells of delicious food fill the air as everyone gets ready for a beach party. Cora is excited, but she is also worried because she still does not have a present for Grandma. Cora cannot think of anything special enough. Cora knows her grandmother misses her home country, Cape Verde.

After a nighttime walk on the beach with Grandma, Cora finally comes up with an idea for the perfect gift. It is one that both of them will always remember and a way to help Grandma reconnect with faraway family.

Recommended Age: 6 - 9 years  

 

Central African Republic

Stories From The Central African Republic 

Stories From The Central African Republic is a collection of stories from the Central African Republic. Life can be unfair sometimes, but as beings, we should not be unfair to one another. 


Every story in this book teaches lessons about life. All the stories are well written with details that capture the reader's attention. Every reader will find the stories in this book very fascinating due to the originality of each story.

Recommended Age: All Ages

 

Chad

Calabash Cat

Calabash Cat, a West African cat, sets out one day to find where the world ends. His adventures take him across a desert, grasslands, a jungle, and the ocean, until he finds what he is looking for.

 

This story will keep kids thinking long after you have closed the covers of this book—about our one world, and about seeking knowledge and finding wisdom.


Recommended Age: 4 - 7 years

 

Comoros

Country Jumper in Comoros

Country Jumper in Comoros follows Country Jumper, a young world traveler, with an engaging personality. He will guide readers on a tour around the world and expose them to many different cultures.

In this book, he educates them on each country with a brief synopsis of its history, national treasures, places to visit, etc. It will inspire their curiosity in Comoros and inform them of fun activities for kids to do if they get an opportunity to venture into one of these countries.
 


Recommended Age: 9 - 16 years

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Traveling to Tondo: A Tale of the Nkundo of Zaire

Traveling to Tondo: A Tale of the Nkundo of Zaire follows Bowane, the cat. Bowane has asked for the hand of a beautiful feline and is returning to his future wife's village with a basket of copper and trinkets. On the way, he invites one friend after another to accompany him. But delays stall the wedding party--for years--and when the entourage finally reaches Tondo, they are not welcome. 

 

Recommended Age: 7 - 9 years

 

Djibouti

Djibouti

Djibouti written by an editorial consultant in the foreign policy research institute, look at modern Middle East nations and their strategic place in the world. In this book, the focus is on the African country Djibouti. 

It is a great resource for introducing kids to Djibouti, its history, culture, traditions and heritage. 

Recommended Age: 8 - 12 years 

 

Egypt

 

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery

Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery follows Stanley. He was flattened by a bulletin board, and there are places he can get to that no one else can. So when Stanley receives a letter from an archaeologist, he travels by airmail to Egypt to help find an ancient treasure deep in the heart of a great pyramid. But what if even the flattest boy on Earth can't wriggle out of this dark tomb—and the terrible mess he finds himself in?

It is an unforgettable adventure that features fun, fascinating facts about Egypt!

Recommended Age: 6 - 10 years 

 

Equatorial Guinea 

 

The Forgotten Hero

The Forgotten Hero: Short Story of a leader through the eyes of a daughter is based on Tomas Malango Mbuamangongo Ekoka. He was the country's first chemical engineer, part of the independence movement, an advocate, an idealist born ahead of his time. 

The story is a glimpse into the complex and interesting story of a social innovator and a forgotten hero. 

Recommended Age: 10 years+

 

 

Eritrea 

Rescued by a Flying Dragon: An Illustrated Children's Story in Tigrinya

Rescued by a Flying Dragon: An Illustrated Children's Story in Tigrinya contains rhyming phrases, poems, sing along songs and a captivating plot are wonderfully put together.

Kids will absolutely love this adorable book and be delighted to read it or have it read to them while learning the Tigrinya language

Recommended Age: 5 - 6 years 

 

Eswatini

Nothando's Journey

Nothando's Journey is a journey in self-discovery, told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando. The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando's country of Swaziland in Southern Africa.

Nothando and her brother venture into the unknown hills, in order to get to the festival on time. As Nothando explores the hills of Swaziland, she visits with various animals--Nothando moves freely with the animals, and begins to become comfortable with who she is.

Recommended Age: 7 - 9 years

 

Ethiopia 

 

Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain is a story about a young Ethiopian boy. He is challenged by his master to spend a bitter-cold night alone in the mountains.He bets his future that he will succeed. And he does, warmed only by the sight of a distant fire. When his master refuses to recognize the boy's victory, the boy and his sister decide to beat the rich man at his own game.

Recommended Age: 3 - 8 years

 

Gabon

Gabon: Philippe Ngome's Painting: "My Family Goes to Market"

Gabon: Philippe Ngome's Painting: "My Family Goes to Market"  is a unique series that celebrates the artistic achievements of young artists from around the world who have painted a scene from their own lives in their own country.

This book will teach students about other cultures while encouraging them to pursue their own imaginative and creative dreams.

Recommended Age: 8 years 

Gambia

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia  is an inspiring true story of how Isatou Ceesay found a way to recycle plastic bags and transform her community.

It is a great story that shows kids how one person's actions really can make a difference in our world.

Recommended Age: 5 - 9 years 

 

Ghana

The Ghanaian Goldilocks

The Ghanaian Goldilocks is set in Accra, Ghana. It is a modern twist on the classic Goldilocks fairytale. Like traditional kente cloth, West African culture and themes are woven seamlessly into the story of a boy with sun lightened hair named Kofi, better known to his friends and family as Goldilocks.

Like the Goldilocks in the traditional tale, Kofi has been known to get into some trouble here and there, but it's an unexpected visit to a neighbor's house that teaches him a valuable lesson of a lifetime. 

Recommended Age: 4 - 7 years 

 

Guinea

The Three Little Birds

The Three Little Birds is a story of how three little birds learn the lesson that when you are not united, things fall apart. 

The authors of this book took a traditional folktale from the Susu tribe from Guinea, and they added their own twist to it. 

Recommended Age: 4 - 7 years

 

 

Ivory Coast

Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family

Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family is a beautifully illustrated story that connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa.

As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. Once the cake is baked, it's ready to eat, but this isn't her only birthday present. There's a special surprise waiting at the front door . . .


Recommended Age: 3 - 6 years 

 

Kenya 

 

A Kenyan Christmas

A Kenyan Christmas features Akinyi,  normally a good girl, who wants a different Christmas than her mother has planned. Will the Christmas family still bring her a gift?  

Readers will find out how Akinyi celebrates Christmas in Kenya where it is hot in December and a very special Christmas family come to bring the gifts.


Recommended Age: 6 - 8 years 

 

Lesotho

 

One Round Moon and a Star for Me

One Round Moon and a Star for Me features a young African boy's journey to discover his own place in the world. He watches a shooting star falling for his Mama's new baby. The whole village comes together to provide gifts for mother and child. But when he sees his papa smiling at the baby's tiny hands which are just like Papa's own hands, his heart grows dark, like a night with no moon. At last he asks, "Papa, are you really my Papa too?"

The story is filled with light and darkness; friendship and community spirit; love and hope.

Recommended Age: All Ages

 

Liberia 

Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia

Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia features is a magical retelling of a Liberian creation storyHead is all alone. Body bounces along. Arms swing about. Legs stand around. They can't do much by themselves, so they try to work together. But how?

This vibrant, joyous retelling of a traditional Liberian creation story shows how much can be accomplished with a little cooperation.

Recommended Age: 4 - 8 years

 

Libya

The Shadows of Ghadames

The Shadows of Ghadames is set in the Libyan city of Ghadames, Malika watches her merchant father depart on one of his caravan expeditions. She too yearns to travel to distant cities, and longs to learn to read like her younger brother.

But nearly 12 years old, and soon to be of marriagable age, Malika knows that—like all Muslim women—she must be content with a more secluded, more limited life. Then one night a stranger enters her home . . . someone who disrupts the traditional order of things—and who affects Malika in unexpected ways.

Recommended Age: 8 - 12 years

 

 Madagascar

 

Adventures of Riley - Mission to Madagascar

Adventures of Riley - Mission to Madagascar follows young Riley who is on a mission. Riley goes loopy for lemurs as his reality-based exploits take him to the mysterious island of Madagascar in search of the elusive aye-aye!

This children's book has a captivating storyline, authoritative scientific endorsements, and elementary curriculum applications.

Recommended Age: 4 - 10 years

 

Malawi

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind starts when a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi. His family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

This exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. 

Recommended Age: 9 - 12 years

 

Mali

 

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali is the story of Sundiata, son of the king of Mali in the time of the great trading empires of Africa in the thirteenth century.  Sundiata overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule the West African trading empire of Mali. i

It is a powerful tale of courage and determination. 


Recommended Age: 4 - 7 years

 

Mauritania

Deep in the Sahara

Deep in the Sahara follows Lalla who lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania. She wants wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman's beauty and mystery or to honor tradition.

A malafa is worn for faith. Lalla's mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla's head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray. 


Recommended Age: 4 - 8 years

 

Morocco

The Street Cats of Marrakech

The Street Cats of Marrakech is the story of Luhut, a small cat who lives on the colourful streets of Marrakech.This is a tale of his adventures: of the people he meets and the wonders he sees every day, in what he considers to be the greatest city of Morocco, indeed the greatest city in all of Africa!


Recommended Age: All Ages  

 

 Mozambique

 A Girl Named Disaster

A Girl Named Disaster is the story of Eleven-year-old Nhamo who lives in a traditional village in Mozambique, where she doesn't quite fit in. When her family tries to force her into marrying a cruel man, she runs away to Zimbabwe, hoping to find the father she's never met.

However, what should have been a short boat trip across the border turns into a dangerous year-long adventure, and Nhamo must summon her innermost courage to ensure her survival.


Recommended Age: 9 - 12 years 

 

Namibia

The 3 Little Dassies

The 3 Little Dassies follows Mimbi, Pimbi and Timbi. They have discovered the red rock mountains with vivid blue skies that are home to hungry eagles.

They hope to find "a place cooler, a place less crowded, a place safe from eagles!" to build their new homes. The handsomely dressed Agama Man watches from the borders as the eagle flies down to flap and clap until he blows a house down. But in a deliciously funny twist, that pesky eagle gets a fine comeuppance!


Recommended Age: 3 - 5 years 

 

 

Niger 

 

Don't Spill the Milk!

Don't Spill the Milk! is a story of a young girl called Penda. Over the uppy downy dunes, across the dark, wide river and up the steep, steep mountain, Penda lovingly carries a bowl of milk to her father in the grasslands. But will she manage to get it there without spilling a single drop? 


Recommended Age: 4 - 9 years 

 

Nigeria

Idia of the Benin Kingdom

Idia of the Benin Kingdom is an African folklore about Queen Idia of the ancient Kingdom of Benin. The young heroine sees her future in a dream and works her way to becoming one of the most loved, praised, and successful queens of the African Kingdom of Benin.

The book is beautifully illustrated to keep the kids engrossed. This story will teach your children about obedience, practicing one's art, and believing dreams can come true.

Recommended Ages: 8 - 12 years

 

The Republic of Congo

 

The Magic Tree: A Tale from the Congo

The Magic Tree: A Tale from the Congo retells a Congolese tale in which an ugly and unloved twin leaves home and discovers a Magic Tree, which gives him beauty, strength, and love--if he keeps its secret.

Recommended Ages: 5 - 6 years

 

Rwanda 

Banna and Bree Blown to Rwanda

Banna and Bree Blown to Rwanda begins in the Okavango Delta in Botswana where Banna and Bree live, but is set in the stunning jungle of The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. While Banna and Bree are in Rwanda they learn first-hand of the plight of the mountain Gorillas and the constant threat of poachers in the Park. Banna and Bree live with the Park families and create friendships with Caeb the Chameleon and Jastin, the gorilla and the Mountain families.

When poachers threaten the lives of the Mountain gorillas, and in particular Jastin’s family, the Park animals unite to protect the gorilla families. Banna and Bree experience the challenges of the Park animals, the unique friendships that are quite heart-warming and humorous, and learn what true heroes will sacrifice for their mates.

Recommended Ages: All Ages

 

São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe is largely undiscovered, uniquely rewarding and safe destination with an exciting blend of African, Portuguese and Caribbean cultures.

This book will allow young readers to explore secluded beaches and colonial plantation houses; spot endemic rainforest birds and learn about medicinal plants; scale the Pico and dive in toasty waters; taste the world's best chocolate; watch turtles hatching and get into the laid-back, 'léve-léve' Santomean groove. 

Recommended Ages: All Ages 

 

Senegal

 

Senegal: On the Way to School

Senegal: On the Way to School is based on Aminata's mornings that are very busy! She takes a taxi brousse (colorful bus) from her village all the way to school, and there are lots of stops along the way.

Readers of this captivating book will follow Aminata as she travels across Senegal's breathtaking landscape. They'll pass by vibrant villages, nature reserves, and bustling markets. They'll also learn about the food, music, games, clothing, language, religion, and history of Senegal along the way.

Recommended Ages: 7 - 10 years

 

Seychelles

 

Save Mango!

Save Mango! follows Mitzi, Yxkull and Jojo who live in Seychelles. They live on the main island called Mahe. Young readers will follow them on an adventure in which they save a Giant Tortoise. 

Recommended Ages: 5 - 6 years

 

Sierra Leone

The Bite of Mango

The Bite of Mango as a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived.

The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown. Mariatu eventually leaves for Toronto where she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

Recommended Ages: 12+ years

 

Somalia

 

Wiil Waal: A Somali Folktale

Wiil Waal: A Somali Folktale is a Somali-English Bilingual Children's Picture Book. The heart? The leg? The ribs? What part of the sheep is the answer to the Sultan s riddle? When wise Somali leader Wiil Waal asks the men in his province to bring him the part of a sheep that best symbolizes what can divide men or unite them as one, most present him with prime cuts of meat. But one very poor man s daughter has a different idea.

In this clever folktale, a father reluctantly follows his daughter s advice and has astonishing results.

Recommended Ages: All Ages 

 

South Africa

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story  starts with Mma who lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know that they need to bring their mother back in order to save their sister’s life. Bravely, secretly, they set off on the long journey to the big city to find Mma.

It isn’t until they finally reach Jo’burg that they see up close what life is like for black citizens across South Africa—and begin to really question the unfair and dangerous laws of apartheid.

Recommended Ages: 8 - 12 years  

 

South Sudan 

 South Sudan

South Sudan after decades of war, South Sudan became an independent country in 2011. Though its people face struggles as they build their new nation, they do have reason for national pride.

South Sudan contains Bandingilo National Park, which hosts one of the largest annual animal migrations. This title describes the birth of South Sudan and its efforts to create a national identity.

Recommended Ages: 8 - 12 years  

 

Sudan

The Red Pencil

The Red Pencil is based on the life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.

It is a powerful story of one girl's triumphant journey, inspired by true tales of life in Sudan. 

Recommended Ages: 9+ years   

 

Tanzania

 

Babu's Song

Babu's Song stars Bernardi and he lives with his grandfather, Babu, who supports them by making toys. Bernardi wishes he could go to school, but they can't afford it. When a tourist offers a handsome price for the music box Babu gave him as a present, Bernardi regretfully sells it, giving the money to Babu. Babu uses the money to pay for his grandson's school, and he starts working on a new music box.

The book captures the tender relationship between a child and his grandfather.

Recommended Ages: 5 - 8 years   

 

Tunisia

The Enchanted World of Tunisian Folktales

The Enchanted World of Tunisian Folktales has four Marvelous short stories for children that can be enjoyed by all types of readers. They are fantastic unknown folktales from the ancient, rich and vibrating Tunisian oral culture.


This book is very funny to read but also valuable to exploit as cultural resource about Tunisia.


Recommended Ages: 12+ years    

 

Uganda

Sleep Well, Siba and Saba

Sleep Well, Siba and Saba features forgetful sisters Siba and Saba are always losing something. Sandals, slippers, sweaters―you name it, they lose it. When the two sisters fall asleep each night, they dream about the things they have lost that day. Until, one night, their dreams begin to reveal something entirely unexpected…

With playful illustrations and a lullaby-like rhythm, this heart-warming story set in Uganda is truly one to be treasured.

Recommended Ages: 4 - 8 years  

 

Zambia

The Tortoise's Gift: A Tale from Zambia

The Tortoise's Gift: A Tale from Zambia is a story of when a draught leaves all the animals hungry, one by one they try to discover the name of the magical tree that will give them its fruit if asked by name--but only one animal will succeed.

This illustrated chapter book retelling of a famous folktale from Zambia.

Recommended Ages: 6 - 8 years   

 

Zimbabwe

 

Kuenda Kumusha

Kuenda Kumusha describes one family's journey from the city of Harare to their family home in the village and many of the sights they might see on their trip.

The text is in both chiShona and English in a word for word translation and can be used for teaching either language.

Recommended Ages: All Ages 

Idia of the Benin Kingdom

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Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba

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