African Books for Kids


Africa. Rookie Geography by Allan Fowler.

Large print photographic book on aspects of Africa. Ages 5 – 8 yrs

Africa. A True Book. By David Peterson

Large print chapter book about various aspects of Africa. Chapters on the Sahara, the wildlife, geography, it’s vast age (some evolutionist sentences here), culture, Europeans in Africa and it’s future. Ages 7 – 12 yrs

All About South Africa: Everything You Need to Know About South Africa: Our Country. Its People, History, Culture, Economy and Wildlife.

This book is the ultimate reference for South African School Kids. The book is divided into sections on culture, history, geography and so on. It is packed with facts and figures and has been updated recently.

VIPs and Personalities 

Long Walk to Freedom. Picture Book by Chris van Wyk. This book that tells the story of the life of Madiba. It is the story of the life of this national hero, from his carefree days as an ordinary village boy, to his unflinching leadership of the ANC, the long years in prison and his eventual freedom and extraordinary elevation to President of South Africa. Abridged by Chris van Wyk and beautifully illustrated by Paddy Bouma. 8 and up

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire Nivola. One of four picture books about the inspirational Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Wangari Maathai led efforts to reforest Kenya and was the founder of the Green Belt Movement. In Planting the Trees of Kenya, author Claire Nivola clearly and engagingly tells the story of Wangari’s life and explains the value of planting trees. 6 and up

Singing the Truth: The story of Miriam Makeba (Book Dash) 

This beautifully illustrated picture book about the life of African singer Miriam Makeba, the late Mama Africa. The story of Miriam Makeba’ is a free book produced by the talented team at Sea Monster Entertainment Animation Studios in Cape Town, South Africa. 6 and up

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Books on Animals

Get Bushwise. A Bushveld Safari. By Nadine Clarke. This book is part of a wildlife series for South African kids. These books are absolutely fabulous packed with facts and experiments, quizzes and activities. 6 - 10 yrs

African Animal Alphabet by Beverly Joubert, Dereck Joubert.

Antelopes leap! Elephants roam! Lions stalk and zebras gallop! Wild creatures from all over the African continent scamper through the pages of this delightful book. There is probabely no better way to learn the alphabet while discovering some of the favorite African animals. Award-winning filmmakers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert bring their impressing images of African wildlife to this amazing alphabet book. 6 and up

African Animals Rhymes and Recipes: It is an animal alphabet book, with a fact filled poem and a recipe for each animal: Jackal Juice, Lion Linguine and so on. The recipes are really easy enough for kids to try and the ingredients are common old ingredients – nothing weird and not much that kids won’t eat already or be willing to try. 6 and up


Where are the Great Pyramids by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler (Authors) Jerry Hoare (Illustrator) 

The Great Pyramids of Egypt were built thousands of years ago, and still no one knows exactly how the ancient Egyptians did it! In this informative account, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler tell the story of the powerful pharaohs who commissioned the pyramids at Giza and offer a fascinating look at the culture of the afterlife in ancient Egypt, explaining exactly how mummies were made. Easy to read and scrupulously researched. 5 - 8 yrs.

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski

A true African tale of how a prince of Mali overcame physical disability to save his kingdom from ruin in the I 200’s. Includes maps of Sundiata’s travels and battles, as well as a page outlining the history for this part of Africa and where Sundiata fits in. Ages 5 — 11 yrs

Land and People 

A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu

 Ifeoma Onyefulu has written and photographed a lovely alphabet book based on her favorite images of Africa. She grew up in Nigeria and presents lots of information about the customs and objects of Africa based on memories from her childhood. 4 and up. 

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions  

Amazing illustrations from Leo and Diane Dillon, written by Margaret Musgrove. In this lovely illustrated book you get to learn about a range of African cultures. Also because it appeals to adults, which is the hallmark of a classic picture book.  Artists Leo and Diane Dillon won their second consecutive Caldecott Medal for this stunning ABC of African culture. 4 and up 

About the Ndebele people in Southern Africa

My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou and Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Via Maya Angelou’s playful and poetic prose, a girl Thandi from the Ndebele tribe in South Africa introduces herself to readers. Margaret Courtney-Clarke’s photographs make Thandi’s world come alive; they include wonderful portraits of Thandi and other Ndebele women and children in traditional beads and bracelets as well as striking photographs of colorful painted houses. 8 - 10 yrs

About the People in Mali

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite and Baba Wague Diakite. The story of a young girl from the United States who loses her tooth while visiting her family in Mali. In exchange for her tooth, the girl receives two chickens from the African tooth fairy. 6 - 8 yrs

About the life in Ghana

Nii Kwei’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Ghanaian City by Francis Provencal and Catherine McNamara. Nii Kwei’s Day describes Nii Kwei eating breakfast, going to school, watching marching band practice, playing soccer and board games, visiting the market, eating dinner and going to bed. Readers will notice the similarities between Nii Kwei’s life and their own. The photographs of Nii Kwei are very valuable for helping children imagine life in an African city.

About kids in Sudan

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story 

The story is about two eleven-year-old kids in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, is searching for his family and for a safe place to stay. Salva's story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in a moving way. 10 - 12 yrs

About a boy in Malawi

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer (Authors), Anna Hymas (Illustrator)Young Reader's Edition

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill.The memoir of the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village adapted for young readers. What a bicycle had to do with the fabulous invention of William Kamkwamba? Read his exciting story. 8 -12 yrs