White Ravens: Zimbabwe

6 books      

Special Mention - Zimbabwe (English) - 1996 - 30
Proctor, André (text)
Koch, Hannie (illus.)
The school we made
Harare: Baobab Books, 1992. [24] p.
ISBN 0-908311-36-2
School - Soccer - Everyday life/Village/Zimbabwe
The villagers first get support to build a real school building and then they are granted their request for an accredited teacher. But this strict, taciturn stranger has other ideas about classroom behavior, appearances and when it is appropriate to play soccer on the school's sport field. The efforts of the parents and the heart-felt enthusiasm of the pupils for their soccer team finally win him over and he becomes integrated into village life. The gently drawn pen- and-brush drawings on each page capture the main elements of this well-written entertaining tale. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - Zimbabwe (English) - 1996 - 31
Kala, Violet
Waste Not Your Tears
Harare: Baobob Books, 1994. 73 p.
(Turn about series)
ISBN 0-908311-64-9
Love - AIDS
A young woman thinks she has found the man of her dreams. After she moves into his quarters, his promises of marriage prove to be the false words of a lazy and self-centered man. When she discovers that he has infected her with AIDS, she must find the strength to live with this situation. This topic is not only of interest to Africans, but all over the world. (14+)

Special Mention - Zimbabwe (English) - 1997 - 32
Alumenda, Stephen (text/illus.)
How Thopo became a great n'anga
Harare: Baobab Books/Academic Books, 1996. 30 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 0-908311-89-3
Homeless boy - Village life -Identity
Thopo is an orphan, »street boy«, an outsider in a Zimbabwean village where cultural rules and beliefs still play an important role. Brave and mischieveous, he resists all efforts to find him a family or send him to school, and is, of course, secretly envied by the other children. One day he even dares to challenge the village wiseman, the »n'anga«, the only person allowed to touch the sacred python Thopo has found. Thopo negotiates a deal with the n'anga, but soon disappears for several months. Then, to everyone's surprise, a new role is established for him in the village in a ceremony organized by the old n'anga. This is a contemporary folktale about real-life relationships which are governed by traditional beliefs and practices. The unity of story with the black-andwhite illustrations, typography and layout is quite striking. (8+) ☆

Zimbabwe (English) - 1998 - 25
Alumenda, Stephen (text)
Marita goes to school
Harare: Baobab, 1997. [20] p. With illustrations
ISBN 1-7790-9000-5
School - Wish - Father/Daughter - Secret - Reward
Marita dreams of being allowed to attend school, but her father thinks it is a waste of time and money and fears that his daughter could grow up to be a misfit in their community. But when Marita is secretly tutored by the local teacher (a young woman who wears trousers!), she is able to help her father read an important letter. This is an affirmative story about a spunky modern African girl whom young readers can identify with. This paperback children's book is very attractively produced on sturdy paper and with lively black-and-white illustrations. (6+) ☆ ☼

Zimbabwe (English) - 1998 - 26
Farrell, Patricia
Jessicah the mountain slayer
Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1995. 92 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective Ltd., Oxford)
ISBN 1-77901-095-8
Orphan - Grief - Dream - City life - Garbage dump - Friendship - School
Twelve-year old Jessicah must leave her village when her mother dies and go to live with the sister of her father, who deserted the family long ago. Though she is still inwardly grieving, she must work very hard for her foster parents and give up school. She runs away to Nairobi, where she experiences dangers but also friendship in the person of an old woman who becomes her mentor and protector. Living as a garbage-picker in the »wasteland«, her situation finally improves when a journalist becomes interested in the situation of the squatters. This well-told, inspirational story is carried by its appealing main characters. (10+) ☆

Zimbabwe (English) - 2000 - 25
Makura, Tendai (text)
Pasirayi, Thomas (illus.)
The talking walking stick
Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1999. 13 p.
(Action readers)
(Distr. excl. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 1-77901-164-4
Folktale/Zimbabwe - Selfishness - Greed - Murder
When a family of four sets off by foot on a sixday journey to visit the mother's parents, father always eats the greatest part of their provisions. After five days they find a tree that yields only two figs, which the two children cajole from their mother. In a flash of temper the father kills her, and to keep this murder secret, he must commit one murder after the other. Arriving at the village, his walking stick continues to sing of his evil deeds and the villager elders punish the murderer. This story demonstrates that the truth will always come out. Though the simple black-and-white illustrations are of uneven quality, the story is well-written and the typography attractive. (8+)