Life in Africa

Mama Panya’s Pancakes

Set in Kenya, Mama Panya’s Pancakes is the story of Adika and his mom and their trip to the market for dinner provisions. Adika is a friendly young boy and like my son invites all of his friends home for dinner. Everyone says yes and Mama Panya is concerned about having enough food to serve. She introduces a concept that we’ve often used in my family called “family hold back” (fhb), serve your guests first and eat what is left. The result is a wonderful tale about community and sharing what you have with others. The book also includes information about life in an African village, greetings in Kiswahili, animals and plants found in Africa, a map of the region and the recipe for Mama Panya’s pancakes. This is a great addition to a lesson plan about sharing, life in Africa or cooking.

Masai Man

This award-winning book tells a solemn but uplifting tale about our connection to animals in captivity. The Masai Man helps the animal realize life in the wild. The illustrations are mesmerizing with close-ups of the man’s intense face and visions of animal life.

We All Went on Safari, A Counting Journey through Tanzania

One of Barefoot’s most popular books. We all Went of Safari, follows a group of Masai children through the grasslands of Tanzania. It’s a counting book with different animals discovered on every page and numbers in English and Swahili. Proceeds of the book go to African Wildlife Foundation, to aid their wildlife conservation and community building efforts in Tanzania. This title is also available is Spanish. Author Laurie Krebs helps children discover many different cultures through her writing. She is also the author of Off We go To Mexico, We’re Sailing to Galapagos and the new title, We’re Sailing Down the Nile.

Catch that Goat! A Market Day in Nigeria

Written by Polly Alakija, a resident of Nigeria, Catch That Goat!, follows Ayoka through the busy market to find her goat. The goat enjoys the market and takes items along the way including boli, roasted plantain, (yum). The illustrations are quite striking in this book. As with other Barefoot Books, at the end of the book, there is a description of Yoruban life and Market day and greetings in Yoruba.

To learn more about these titles, please visit:


One response to “Life in Africa

  1. Barefoot Books also sells Putamayo for Kids CDs and the “African Playground” is an amazing CD. We listen to it in the car and dance around in the kitchen. It is so alive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s