A book of African proverbs illustrated by a variety of artists.
The 15 proverbs highlighted in this book come from different African peoples and regions, and each features a captivating full-page illustration. The aphorisms range from the well-known—“It takes a village to raise a child”—to those that may be new to most readers. Walters offers origin information for each proverb, as well as its meaning, making the book accessible to a variety of ages. The saying “When in the middle of a river, do not insult the crocodile,” from the Baoulé people of Côte d’Ivoire, is glossed as, “You probably don’t have to battle crocodiles, but you can apply this to any situation: always think before you act.” The fact that the texts are linked only by continent of origin allows for an array of creative pictorial interpretations of the adages, with styles that run the gamut. Ghanaian artist Eva Campbell provides a bright oil painting of a happy village scene; Cuban-American illustrator Tom Gonzalez offers a striking image of a fire at nighttime; South African artist Sindiso “R!OT” Nyoni contributes a cartoonlike image of a black woman in a spacesuit standing on the moon, with the Earth over her shoulder.
This beautifully illustrated book of wisdom serves as a good introduction to maxims and also acts against the many prevalent negative stereotypes of African cultures and people—lovely and illuminating. (introduction, foreword, artist bios) (Picture book. 5-10)