We’ve some more book recommendations for you today as part of Black History Month. Today’s recommendations are books for children and come from library user Fadzi. Here’s what she has to to suggest:
“S P K Mushambi who writes delightful stories for children, her first two being “The Mysterious Melody” and “Tarirai’s Choice.” My 9 year old daughter is a keen book reviewer and if she says this is good then I take her word for it. She’s enjoyed the adventure in the Mysterious Melody. It’s just a great story, and in a children’s story, we don’t need a greater reason than that, though it’s worth noting it was recently been long listed for a new book award, https://www.thediversebookawards.co.uk/. Kidzania London is featuring an exhibit of these books at their library for the entire month of October.
My children are loving a book called “Coco loves her Curly Hair” by Colleen Dixon which celebrates the versatility of black hair. I know the month is about history but I take it as an opportunity to celebrate blackness as I think celebrating our existence and uniqueness helps people to appreciate our journey.
For something factual and informative, with great illustrations, covering both geography and history, “In Africa with Avi and Kumbi” by Khize wamaZambezi is a book I’d recommend.
My daughters have also enjoyed the Jaden Toussaint series by Marti Dumas, “Akeelah and the Bee” by James W Ellison and “Femi the Fox, A Pot of Jollof” by Jeanette Kwakye and my last recommendation is Tullula by Refiloe Moahloli – because it’s a sweet story about being able to change the way things have always been done, and it’s a story written by a South African and therefore through the eyes of an African. An appreciation of South Africa’s history deepens our understanding of the premise of this book. Beautifully illustrated and even has an accompanying song on CD.”
Fadzi knows what makes a children’s book great – she herself published her first book earlier this year. “Tafara and the Patchwork Blanket”, was written because Fadzi felt her daughters needed to see themselves represented in literature through the lens of a first generation immigrant Zimbabwean family living in the UK, who are able to pass on the cultures and practices that they’re accustomed to. Fadzi says of her writing “I will always seek to portray my people as who we are – fun-loving people with real lives, day-to-day happenings, not victims, not perpetually oppressed , but as day-to-day people living and learning and discovering.”
Unfortunately none of these books are available through Birmingham Libraries but you may be able to order them from https://mybookbasket.com/, black-owned independent bookshop in Birmingham. They are also all available from Amazon.