Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book's appeal lies primarily in its detailed illustrations, which invite reader reaction. The rather flat writing plays second fiddle to the art and the author's meticulous research.
What's the story?
Alphabet book, cultural guide, or work of art? Flawlessly researched by the author and the illustrators, ASHANTI TO ZULU is all three. Using unremarkably written but straightforward fact-telling, plus earth-toned artwork worthy of a museum wall, the book introduces its readers to a slice of life from each of twenty-six African tribes.
Is it any good?
ASHANTI TO ZULU is filled with authentic details of African tribal life, and the research behind this book is impressive. The illustrators consulted many sources before completing the artwork, but Leo and Diane Dillon, known for astoundingly gorgeous art, have balanced accuracy with beauty. They are meticulous down to the last details: You'll find intricately patterned clothing and authentic jewelry and headdresses.
This attention to detail may overwhelm younger kids and the flat, factual writing may bore some children. But with so much information packed into these colorful pages, all readers will learn something new. Taken in small doses, these pages are endlessly fascinating, and may prompt further discussion, research, and projects.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the distinctions among the tribes. What were some of the surprises for you? How could you learn more if you wanted to?