3 African Picture Books About Love
In the age of high-stakes testing, competitive preschools, and where access to information is readily available it can become very easy to only focus on finding learning opportunities which support children’s language and cognitive development.
But equally important are their social-emotion skills. Social-emotional skills are what help children and adults understand and manage emotions. They also are important when it comes to attitudes toward learning, such as the ability to preserve or show resilience. When it comes to positive relationships, social emotion skills are integral!
This is why I decided to find three African picture books that are all about love. These books are all about love! Love for one’s self, love for one’s community and love for one’s family!
Be sure to pick them up online (linked below) or at your local library. What was your favorite childhood book about love?
The Colors of Me: Chi-Chi's Hair by Dr. Stephanie Oguchi [Nigerian]
This book is a lovely story about a Nigerian girl named Chi-Chi who loves her traditional threaded hairstyle her mom created to her friends at school. Unfortunately, her classmates do not share the view. This relate-able story is filled with teachable lessons as we follow young Chi-Chi as she finds the strength to in a negative experience. The Colors of Me: Chi-Chi’s Hair is all about love for one’s self and culture, as we see Chi-Chi. Dr. Stephanie is Nigerian-American author and occupational therapist whose love for storytelling inspired her to turn a sad childhood experience into a learning opportunity about loving yourself and respecting others.
Dr. Stephanie is Nigerian-American author and occupational therapist whose love for storytelling inspired her to turn a sad childhood experience into a learning opportunity about loving yourself and respecting others.
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora [Nigerian]
Thank You, Omu, is not only a tale which will make your mouth water, but it is also a beautiful lesson about love for one’s community. As the scent of Omu’s delicious stew sweeps the neighborhood, everyone in the community comes to Omu’s house for a taste. Will there be any left for her and her family? You have to read to find out.
Growing up, whenever my mother made a meal she always made extra in case of guests! This is common for many Sierra Leonean families where food is always offered to visitors (expected or otherwise). This book is an excellent story to teach the value of sharing and love for the people in one’s community.
Little Brother for Sale by Rahma Rodaah [Somali]
Perhaps some of life’s most important lessons about relationships are learned with your sibling! This is likely why sibling stories continue to be a timeless theme in children’s literature. This book is a beautiful story of Asma and her little brother Hamaza who always finds ways to trouble her. One day, Asma decides to sell her little brother so she can enjoy her parent’s attention and some peace. However, is being an only sibling really what Asma wants?
This book is a beautiful tale that demonstrates the love of siblings (no matter how much they may pester you). What makes this book even more special is how it beautiful integrates black Muslim identity and culture although it is not the focus of the story.