White Ravens: Kenya

5 books      

Kenya (English) - 1997 - 25
King, Bridget (ed./text)
Marks, Jonti (text)
Leggat, Gillian (text)
Miranda, Robin (illus.)
The magic drum. Stories from Africa's savannah, sea and skies
Nairobi: Jacaranda Designs, 1996. 64 p.
ISBN 9966-884-05-X
South Africa/Fable - Kenya/Fable - Animal - Pride - Dreams - Fear
This volume encompasses three modern animal fables set in Kenya and South Africa. All the animals living near the waterhole enjoy dancing to the sounds of Fodo the Frog's magic drum but one day when his dancing friends destroy a farmer's garden, he nearly gets caught and eaten. Now, though we hear his drumming, he shies away from men. Laika, a romantic young crab, learns not to see her dream of prince charming more realisti-cally after her search for footprints (which she mistakenly understands as »foot prince«) leads her to spend a night alone on the shore. And, finally, the neversatisfied little red bird, who continually persuades his creator to change his shape and improve his status, gets his just reward. The comic and matched by the bold colors on the full-page illustrations done by a self-taught airbrush artist who skilfully captures the African settings and animal life. (4+)

Kenya (English) - 1998 - 20
Fulani, Dan (text)
Kirby, Patrick (illus.)
Janjo and Shika. Historic Adventures in Africa. The battle for Mombasa (1696-1698)
Nairobi: Jacaranda Designs, 1995. 44 p.
ISBN 9966-884-99-8
Mombasa/History 1696-1698 - Power - Rivalry - Monkey - Time travel
Kenya's coastal port of Mombasa was once a strategic site for the Portuguese traders along the Indian Ocean. Jealousy and rivalry among the local rulers and power struggles with the Arabs from the north and the Portuguese led to the destruction of Fort Jesus. To bring one historical episode to life, Fulani allows an African school boy and his pet monkey to time-slip and relive the dramatic siege. Many factual details are included in the story and in informative boxed inserts. Colorful, somewhat comic-caricaturist illustrations spice this engaging lesson in history with humor and visual action. (8+)

Kenya (English) - 2000 - 22
Makotsi, Ruth L.
The boy who became a frog
Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, 1999. 25 p.
(Sparrow readers; 18)
(Distr. excl. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 9966-25-023-9
Folktale - Marriage - Man/Frog - Transformation - Good/Evil
Strong and boastful, Sudi and the beautiful orphaned Difna grow up in the same household. When they are old enough, each is sought after as a marriage partner, but they want only to marry each other.When Sudi refuses to marry the ugly daughter of the village medicine man, he is turned into a frog. But Difna waits for him and after the drowning death of the evil medicine man, good triumphs over evil. The elaborate twists of plot of this folktale make it enjoyable reading. (8+)

Kenya (English) - 2001 - 24
Orchardson-Mazrui, Elizabeth
The adventures of Mekatilili
Nairobi : East African Educational Publ., 1999. 130 p.
(Secondary readers ; 12)
ISBN 9966-25-004-2
Kidnapping - Christian missionaries - Anti-colonialism
This novel is based on the real story of Mekatilili Wa Menza, a girl famous for fighting against the British colonialists. Mekatilili, a headstrong girl, is kidnapped and taken to a Christian mission. But she knows of her calling, she feels that she will be a leader of a people proud of its own culture and history. So she escapes and returns home to inspire her friends and family. Fact and fiction intertwine as the plot unfolds against the rich cultural backdrop of the Mijikenda people of Kenya. (8+)

Kenya (English) - 2003 - 23
Kariuki, Emmanuel
The Salem Mystery
Nairobi [et al.] : East African Educational Publ., 2001. 135 p.
(Secondary readers ; 13)
ISBN 9966-25-025-5
Woman – Murder – Teenage boy – Investigation
On his way home after an ordinary day, Kahiu is arrested by two ill-tempered police officers and has to accompany them on their beat. Suddenly, they stumble upon the site of a brutal murder. Out of curiosity, the boy and his best friend Opiyo start investigating the mysterious case on their own and are drawn into an intricate mystery-solving adventure putting their own life at risk more than once. This exciting detective story is one in a series of »Secondary Readers« aimed at students in lower secondary school. It conveys an authentic atmosphere of life in a Kenyan town and is nicely rounded off by simple black-and-white drawings. (12+)