Children

image The Leap from the African Bush to the City of Readers

By Munah Nicola Tarpeh


  • Title: Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela
  • Author: Chris van Wyk
  • Illustrator: Paddy Bouma
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 30
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Children

‘Those who cannot read repeat their mistakes over and over…and so will you again’. – Mr Lion

Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela by Chris van Wyk, a South African award-winning poet, short story writer and author of children’s books, deals with multiple themes like patriotism, bravery and the importance of being literate. These are complex themes that are presented in a very simple and humorous manner to teach children their importance.  More…

image The Internet and Its Ugly Side

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Tech Explorers League: Hacked!
  • Author: Paul Kisakye
  • Publisher: Aniseeker LLC
  • Number of pages: 183
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Children

What is next for the Tech Explorers League after they win the science fair? What could they possibly do with their new robot, Tennis Ball, shortened to Tenba, the most talked-about creation in Mugabi Junior School? What kind of relationship do the children develop after emerging into the limelight? These are the questions that linger in the reader’s mind after reading Tech Explorers League: Rise of the Robot, the first book in the series by Paul Kisakye. Tech Explorers League: Hacked! is the sequel to Rise of the RobotMore…

image The Essence of Robots in a Human-Dominated Society

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Tech Explorers League: Rise of the Robot
  • Author: Paul Kisakye
  • Publisher: Aniseeker LLC
  • Number of pages: 188
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Children

‘Do you have a story burning to be told? Do you have a voice that must be heard? Then write. Because writing is no small calling. Otherwise, get back to your normal day job and save us the agony of watching our time being flushed down the toilet.

I’ve written some stories that haven’t gone down well with some Christian friends of mine. But God liked them. And that’s what really matters’. – Paul Kisakye

Tech Explorers League is a series of science fiction novels for children. It comprises three books: Rise of the Robot, Hacked! and Farming Fiasco. The author, Paul Kisakye, is an unapologetic Christian; he often refers to himself as a ‘Christian Writer’. He has to his credit another book, Prodigal Love: Embracing God’s Outrageous, Unconditional Love, which explores how most people think about their relationship with God. His short story, ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ was also shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize in 2013. From all indications, it is clear that he knows his onions when it comes to creative storytelling. More…

image Education, Morality and Psychology in Children’s Literature

By Nureni Ibrahim

  • Title: Lil’ Kanji and the Falling Sun
  • Author: Mwangi Gituro
  • Publisher: Lesleigh Limited
  • Number of pages: 47
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Children

One of the cultural practices of Africans is narrating stories in their various indigenous tongues to children in social gatherings. From mythic tales that recount the origins of the human race to proverbs and wise sayings that teach wisdom, storytelling takes a focal position in social and educational enterprises, with both aesthetics and didacticism being emphasised. However, narrating folktales under the moonlight has metamorphosed into a significant part of what is referred to, today, as African Children’s Literature. More…

image Beyond the Finish Line

By Kemi Falodun


  • Title: Mafoya and the Finish Line
  • Author: Ayo Oyeku
  • Publisher: Ouida Books
  • Number of pages: 61
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Children

A prayer in Yorùbá goes, ‘Kí ẹyẹ kó dún bí ẹyẹ, eku kó dún bí eku, ọmọ ènìyàn kó f’ọhùn bí ènìyàn’. It is an acknowledgment that strange things may occur, hence the content of the prayer, that life should continue to go on normally and smoothly with birds chirping as birds, rats squeaking as rats and humans sounding like humans. So, when the protagonist of Mafoya and the Finish Line finds herself in a land where animals speak like humans, she is petrified. More…

image Colours for the Bright Young Ones

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People
  • Author: Tade Ipadeola
  • Publisher: Metamorphic Books and Consulting Services
  • Number of pages: 14
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Children

One of the easiest ways to pass on knowledge, particularly to young minds, is through poems. Poetry is the perfect blend of rhyme and rhythm, words that send a message in the briefest of ways. Poems appeal to all senses, particularly the senses of bright young people. In this collection of 14 poems titled Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People, Tade Ipadeola takes the reader on a journey of history, love, friendship and nature. In funny and engaging language, the collection provides entertaining and unique poetry for young readers. The young readers are also provided with indigenous content, relatable poems, and situations that they can easily find themselves in. In addition, the collection offers young readers an alternative to the popular poems they are used to, a break from ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and other such nursery rhymes. More…

image The Imaginativeness and Functionality of African Oral Literature

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: Who Told the Most Incredible Story?
  • Author: Naana J E S Opoku-Agyemang
  • Publisher: Afram Publishers (Ghana) Limited
  • Number of pages: 619 (5 Vols: Vol 1, 113pp; Vol 2, 121pp; Vol 3, 128pp; Vol 4, 122pp; Vol 5, 135pp)
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Children

‘“Fantasy” is the natural bedrock of all African folktales. In other words, there is no African oral narrative, including folktales, both “fictional” and “non-fictional”, that is not couched in varying degrees of fantasy’, writes Ademola Dasylva in his monograph, Classificatory Paradigms in African Oral Narrative (p 14). It is often said that childlike truths are best expressed in a childlike manner, and fantasy is a sure means of perpetuating childlike truths. Fantasy allows free range for the imagination of oral artists and their listeners. More…

image Teaching a Child to Be Good: A Review of Nana Ama Afoa Osae’s Books

By Adaudo Anyiam-Osigwe


  • Title: Queiba’s Question
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Title: Queiba’s Dress
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Author: Nana Ama Afoa Osae
  • Publisher: Techmate Publishers Limited
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Children

The works of Nana Ama Afoa Osae are imbued with an overtly Christian ethos. In both books, Queiba’s Question and Queiba’s Dress, Nana Ama Afoa Osae uses the daily experiences and difficulties of the titular character, Queiba, to bring to the awareness and understanding of children the desires and wishes of God for their lives and the lives of those around them. More…

image Forging Oral Tales into Written Stories: A Review of Ekọñ Ñke

By Agatha Aduro


  • Title: Ekọñ Ñke: Our Stories
  • Author: Ini Ite Ubong
  • Publisher: Extra Proff Media
  • Number of pages: 190
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Children

For many centuries, the oral art of storytelling was an integral part of many African cultures. Each ethnic group has its own treasure trove of folklore, which was used to entertain and provide moral instruction to children during nocturnal sessions held in the moonlight. These activities were an integral part of community life but were sacrificed on the altar of ‘civilisation’. Over the years, traditional storytelling has struggled to keep up with the times, being recreated in various forms so as to be transmitted by the media of the times. More…

image Explaining a Complex World: A Review of Teresa Oyibo Ameh’s Books

By Adaudo Anyiam-Osigwe


  • Title: The Freedom Day Party
  • Number of pages: 47
  • Title: Drop That Phone!
  • Number of pages: 27
  • Author: Teresa Oyibo Ameh
  • Publisher: Grower Literature
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Children

The Freedom Day Party is a thoughtful story that considers the battle between Western ideas and traditional beliefs and attitudes, as well as the manifestation of class differences and the personal sacrifices of parents. All these are seen through the eyes of a child who is becoming aware of the world around her, and slowly coming to understand the harsh realities of existence and the need to overcome barriers on the journey towards a fulfilled life. More…