Tales from Africa

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

Collected & Retold by Nelson Mandela

Illustrated with specially commissioned paintings by African artists.

Softbound, Large Format


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It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller may never die in Africa, that all the children of the world may experience the wonder of books.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela's Favorite Folktales is a cause for celebration, a landmark work that gathers in one volume many of Africa's most cherished folktales. Mandela has selected these 32 tales with the specific hope that Africa's oldest stories, as well as a few new ones, be perpetuated by future generations and be appreciated by children thoughout the world.

In these beloved tales, rich with the essence of Africa, we meet, among others, a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads, and a Zulu trickster.  We hear voices of the scheming hyena and learn how the animals acquired their tails and horns.  There are several creations myths that take us to the beginnings of all things and people.

As good as the tales are the lavish and beautiful illustrations - they offer a rich backdrop to this treasure chest of stories.

This is a wonderful addition to the world of folklore and a gift to families and children. Enjoy, enjoy!

African Folktales

Traditional Stories of the Black World

Selected and Retold by Roger D. Abrahams



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This is a funny, earthy, wise and riotous collection of stories from a variety of African cultures. Some of these stories are simple, humorous tales, just right for very young children. Others have themes that involve the complexity of human relationships and of the relationship of humans to the divine. These will interest older children, even teenagers, and can be the source of much after-thought and discussion. Overall, this is a gem of a book - one to use not only as a source of great stories to share, but also to return to again and again to partake of its wonder and beauty. The rhythms of tribal song and dance reverberate through the graceful voice of the storyteller on every page. Abrahams shows great heart in the retelling of these stories.