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North Africa

The Runaway Injera is a bilingual Ethiopian fairy tale about a freshly baked injera that springs to life and taunts the hungry people from whom it runs away. The story begins with a woman baking a batch of injera, but as she attempts to move one to her basket, it jumps out of her hands and rolls away. Before she can stop the injera, it rolls out the door and all over town! Several people call out to the injera trying to stop it, but the stubborn injera keeps on rolling until it comes across a group of three clever girls who outsmart the injera and eat it. This fun, playful tale uses repetitious lines, which creates an interactive component for children during story time.

Azizi and the Little Blue Bird, written by Laïla Koubba and illustrated by Matias De Leeuw, is the story of a young boy named Azizi who becomes an unlikely hero to his people. At the start of the story, Azizi notices some changes in his home, most notably the portraits of Crescent Moon’s rulers, Tih and Reni, being hung in his house, and less food to eat. Soon, the cruel rulers command that all the blue birds be captured and stored in the glass cages above their palace. Azizi and the Blue Bird is a picture book that is larger than a typically sized book and filled with colorful illustrations that will draw readers of all ages in. However, due to the vocabulary, sentence structure, and content of the story, this book is recommended to children 9-years-old and up.

West Africa

African Folk Tales, a collection by Dover Children’s Thrift Classics, presents 18 unabridged traditional folk tales from Nigerian cultures, such as “Adamu’s Mountain,” “The Magic Crocodile,” “The Hare and the Crownbird,” and many more. Each of these stories has stemmed from oral traditions and are now presented in this collection for readers all over the world to enjoy. These collected stories about the animals and people who live in West Africa are entertaining and reflect the cultural values and legends of the area.

The Little Girl
The Runaway Injera
Azizi and the Bluebird
African Folk Tales
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