Zindzi Mandela tells her curious grandchildren Zazi and Ziwelene the story of their great-grandfather Nelson Mandela.
When Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren Zazi and Ziwelene find a photo of their great-grandfather, that sparks an honest discussion about apartheid and race relations in South Africa. Answering her grandchildren’s questions, Zindzi Mandela shares her experience as a child of apartheid, what her mother’s and father’s lives were like and how dedicated Mandela was to his people; “Grandad was fighting for us all to be equal.” In clear and emotional language, the authors discuss the history of apartheid and Mandela’s fight to end it, even while locked away in prison. One of the story’s central messages is the importance of living a life of service, as did Mandela, “a man who was able to forgive all the people who made him and his family and his people suffer.” Qualls’ pencil, collage, and acrylic illustrations are evocative; powerful spreads depict police brutality, incarceration, protest, segregation, and hope. Qualls showcases his command of color, emotion, and style on every page. Readers might come away from this informational book wanting better documentation of historical facts; there is no authors’ note or other backmatter. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful and inspiring reflection on Nelson Mandela’s life and his impact on the world.
A gorgeous and personal tribute to Mandela’s legacy. (Picture book/biography. 6-12)