Initially, this post was going to be a compilation of the many wonderful books I was discovering, such as Margeurite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin's Akissi, but then in my search I came across a number of awesome sites that were doing a much better job than I ever could. Instead I decided to showcase some of them. So if you're curious about African children's literature and want to find out more - here are a few websites and publishers to get you going.
Based in Ghana and founded by Ghanaian writer, Efua Sutherland, Mmofra Foundation is "dedicated to enriching the cultural and intellectual lives of all children in Ghana." If you haven't already, check out their Pinterest page - an awesome exploration of African children's literature (amongst many other wonderful things). There are booklists for kids, booklists for Young Adults, Picture Book Art and even Green Books.
Another cool website is Nal'ibali. isiXhosa for "here's the story", Nal'ibali is "a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children's potential through storytelling and reading." Their bookshelf section features children's books they enjoy and have also shared with children through their reading clubs and newspaper supplement. They have books of the month, featured books and recommended reads.
Another southern African website, PUKU is a weekly online literary newspaper focused specifically on children's literature, education and literacy in southern Africa. PUKU aims to "build up a transparent, regularly updated and accurate database of reviews of recreational and educational books and resources for African parents, teachers and librarians in all South African official languages."
Founded by Chimaechi Ochei, after a trip to Lagos in 2008 where she visited a bookshop which didn't have books with African children in them, Kio Global aim is to provide "schools, governments, charities and families with educational resources that reflect cultures and languages globally." I love that this website sources books in different languages including Arabic, Hausa, Shona and Twi.
|A look at the many books from Storyhippo. Source: Storymoja|