White Ravens: Ghana

6 books      

Ghana (English) - 1996 - 23
Abdallah, Mohammed ben
Ananse and the golden drum. A play for children
Accra: Woeli, 1994. 34 p.
ISBN 99-6497-809-X
Folktale/Ghana - Greed
One of Ghana's leading playwrights, Abdallah uses here the well-known clever and crafty folktale figure Ananse to write a tale about greed and the consequences of trying too hard to get one's own way. (6+)

Ghana (English) - 1997 - 24
Dadson, Nana (text)
Sutherland, Ralph (illus.)
Suma went walking
n.p.: Afram Publications, 1996. 16 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 9964-70-144-6
Africa/Animals - Size - Comparison
In this text a little girl encounters a series of animals who compare her size to theirs. She wonders how she can be so many contradictory things at the same time. Then the turtle explains that what she is doesn't depend on what other people say. Each of the strikingly well-drawn ink drawings is overlaid with two colors. (4+) ☼

Ghana (English) - 2000 - 21
Aidoo, Ama Ata
The girl who can and other stories
Legon, Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 1997 (repr. 1999). 146 p.
(Distr. excl. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 9988-550-11-1
Everyday life/Ghana - Women's rights - Bravery
This is a collection of short stories dealing with women in different social and family situations in modern-day Ghana by a long-standing creative writer and teacher. In each story she adopts a different narrative style and covers themes ranging from an electoral victory, a young woman passing a pilot test, a mother struggling with common family crises while her husband spends his nights elsewhere, or a high-placed NGO founder reflecting on the meaning and practical implications of »global village.« These memorable stories celebrate the uprightness and self-consciousness of women in a world that favors men. They stand out as African writing through their fresh, real-life imagery and the natural voice of the narrators. (14+) ☆

Ghana (English) - 2001 - 22
Asare, Meshack (text/illus.)
Nana's son
Legon, Accra : Sub-Saharan Publ., 2000. 47 p.
ISBN 9988-550-19-7
Creation - Body parts
Set in Africa, this story of creation has a different twist. Nana creates the various parts of the human being – the head to hear, smell, think and talk, hands, legs and stomach. Each part is sent to fend for itself in different landscapes – the plains, the fields, and the sea. One day, Nana sends a parrot to bring news of the parts. When he learns that the head shouted insults, the hands turned to fists and the legs kicked his messenger, he resolves to join the parts and makes them into a »Person«. The award-winning artist's watercolour illustrations amplify the mythical quality evoked by the formulaic, rhythmical text. (5+) ☆ ☼

Ghana (English) - 2001 - 23
Dadson, Fredericka (text)
DeGraft-Johnson, Ato (illus.)
Donkoh, Wilhelmina (text)
The just king : the story of Osei Tutu Kwane Asibe Bonsu
Accra : Woeli, 2000. 32 p.
ISBN 9964-978-67-7
Ghana - Asante Kingdom - Osei-Tut Kwamina
In this little booklet, 12-year-old Kwaku listens to his grandfather as he tells him the story of Osei Tut Kwamina, leader of the Asante kingdom – now part of Ghana, 200 years ago. A mystery starts when the royal graves are looted. The king pursues the wrong-doers, things escalate, finally involving the Asantes in war with the Fantes and the British. This true story vividly told and illustrated brings the events alive, transporting the reader into a world of intrigue, suspense and retributive justice while addressing important ethical issues. (8+) ☆

Ghana (French) - 2002 - 107
Pinguilly, Yves (text)
Seck, Sarang (text)
Koenig, Florence (illus.)
Le garçon qui mouillait les poules
(The boy who made the chickens wet)
Conakry : Éd. Ganndal, 2001. 23 p.
ISBN 2-913326-32-3
Chicken – River – Coming of age – Fairytale
As a baby, Diidi was »touched« by the river Néré, a sign that he is under the river's protection. The small boy grows up well-behaved and imitates all of his mothers gestures, until, one day, the other children and the village shamans make fun of him. Diidi immediately stops copying his mother. As an adult, he even leaves his village to search for the origin of water. The boy's tale clearly shows the negative influence social pressure may have on a person's maturation. The figurative language brings situations from African culture to life for small readers. Three-colour collages in orange, black, and white depict how Diidi finds his own way and lend additional expressiveness to this tale. (6+)