With the title taken from the Kiswahili word for ""long ago,"" this uninspired collection features African folktales from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zululand. An import, its very modest production values may not appeal to US readers accustomed to more lavish bookmaking. Some of the tales echo familiar motifs while others will be original to most readers. But Nevin attenuates his retellings, and his language lacks vitality despite touches of authenticity. Each tale is preceded by a ""Keeper's Introduction"" and ends with a moral or rumination that is called, variably, ""Storykeeper,"" ""The Storykeeper,"" or ""The Storykeeper's Note."" The illustrations, by ten different African artists, vary widely in skill and style, from rankly amateur to polished but ineffective.