African children’s books that teach valuable life lessons

africankidlit Feb 18, 2021

It is no secret that books are not only for education or entertainment. They are great tools for teaching life lessons that build character. It can sometimes be difficult to introduce children to certain life principles. With the help of stories that centre around those principles, parents and teachers can break down concepts.

At Booksie, we believe that children can be taught values such as kindness, empathy, confidence, self love and more through storybooks.

Here is a list of 7 African children’s books and concepts they teach.

Self love

The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

On Afuwe’s birthday, his godfather, Tortoise, gives him a gift that grants him five wishes. Afuwe’s ultimate wish is to become the greatest animal in the jungle instead of the mouse that he is.  After changing to four different animals and encountering various animals in the jungle, Afuwe realises that being a mouse is not so bad after all.

We all have our weaknesses and strengths but if we choose to focus on the weaknesses we will never appreciate our strengths. It is important for children to know that we are all created differently and have unique abilities and traits. This story teaches children to appreciate themselves, love who they are and focus on what they have and can do.

Sulwe

Sulwe’s skin is the colour of midnight. She’s darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school. All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

What’s great about this book is that it teaches life lessons that adults are still trying to learn. The topics of beauty, self love and confidence are presented in a magical way and leaves you with things to think about. We definitely recommend Sulwe for children who are finding it difficult to accept themselves just as they are.

Buy a copy of Sulwe


Problem solving

The Stubborn Cow and the Paint

Ever wondered how cows got their spotted skin? This children’s book may answer your question.

The Stubborn Cow and the Paint tells the story of a group of cows who have everything they might ever need and yet are very sad. One of them decides to do something about their unhappiness and stays awake to think of ways to make them happy. He finds a can of paint and decides to spray the paint on some parts of his body thus creating spots on his skin. He then takes his new innovation back to the group and shares it with them.

We love this book at Booksie because it is written by a child. It’s an awesome and funny tool for teaching children to be problem solvers and innovators. It also teaches children to be kind and to share what they know and have with others.

Rambunctious Kwame and the Case of the Missing Birthday Banku

Kwame is a boisterous 5-year-old with a huge appetite for life and solving mysteries. It's his birthday but for the first time he can't find his birthday banku. Will this case be the one to thwart his investigative skills?

This book is a fun read for both children and adults. It teaches children that they can solve problems that come up in their everyday lives. It also teaches them to ask for help when they need it.

Buy a copy of Rambunctious Kwame

Love for the environment

Garden City

After a Science lesson about gardens and plants, Ama Tricie decides to restore her home city,  Garden City to its state where it was filled with trees and flowers. She rallies her classmates in her quest to replace all the trees that have been cut down due to industrialization.

This is a great book that teaches children to love and care for their environment. They get to learn about the things that we knowingly or unknowingly do to destroy the environment and the steps that can be taken to restore it.

Buy a copy of Garden City

The importance of curiosity

Big Bruce on the Loose: A Journey Through Accra

Big Bruce on the loose is about a tortoise who yearns for an adventure outside his gates. He journeys through the city of Accra to explore the township and it’s people. Children will love the rhyming lyrics and colourful illustrations as they experience Ghana through the eyes of a friendly and adventurous tortoise.

Big Bruce encourages children to explore their immediate surroundings and go beyond that as well. It highlights how big the world is and how much there is to learn about it. It also demonstrates how fun it is to learn new things.

Buy a copy of Big Bruce on the Loose

How stories Spread Around the World

How stories spread around the world tells a story of a mouse who travels across the African continent to learn about different cultures. It observes the many faces of several human groups that inhabit the African continent in their daily activities. Through the watching eye of this mouse we are shown customs, religion, economic activities, histories and the cultural universe of different peoples.

Like Big Bruce on the Loose, How Stories Spread Around the world encourages children to explore the world around them. It gives them a better understanding of the various cultures on the continent and will hopefully pique their curiosity.

Buy a copy of How Stories Spread Around the World

Isabella Tetteh

Isabella Tetteh is the Operations and Marketing Assistant at Booksie. She is a baker, loves crime fiction and is obsessed with being fit.

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