Children’s Book About Africa

Dr. Jessie Voigts
Dr. Jessie Voigts

Destination: Africa

Children’s Book: My African Bedtime Rhymes by Brettell Hone, illustrated by Ginger Nielson

Guest Author: Jessie Voigts
Jessie is our once-a-month contributor. In this episode she tells us the backstory of an interview she did on Wandering Educators with her daughter Lillie joining  in the questioning. Thanks for bring us this, Jessie.

I am happy to share with you a book that our family just loves, a children’s picture book called My African Bedtime Rhymes.

The writing of Hone, and illustrations by Ginger Nielson, make this book a treasure. Our 7-year old daughter loves books, and we especially like books that share other cultures or parts of the world.This easy-to read picture book shares four different story-type rhymes about African animals.

African Bedtime Rhymes
African Bedtime Rhymes

The incredible illustrations really convey a sense of place.

One of the reasons that we like the book so well is that it is, as the name suggests, PERFECT for bedtime reading. The rhymes ease you into sleep, calming your mind and letting you think – and dream – about the African animals.  Sometimes, the rhymes are funny and so you laugh a little, and then go to sleep happy.

Our daughter has drawn some of the animals from the book, and we’ve also incorporated some of the African words into our daily vocabulary. The best part, though?  She says, “I like it because it is fun, it is laughter, it is exciting! The pictures are great – funny and interesting. I especially liked the water pictures. I liked the stories – they are told in rhyme, and sometimes they make you laugh.”

Now that is a great recommendation. Our daughter is an artist and loves to query illustrators (and authors). She was very excited to talk with both Brettell and Ginger about this book. Here are a few excerpts and you can read the rest at Wandering Educators .

Lillie:  Why did you write this book?

BH:  Good question, Lillie! My wife’s sister was visiting us from Iran and she doesn’t speak English. So, I had some time to myself and started to write the rhymes for fun.  Rhymes, poetry and animal stories have played an influential role in and my children’s childhoods. Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories; Geraldine Elliot’s The Long Grass Whispers, A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and many other stories have all featured in our bedtime rituals.  The rhymes in these stories are written to be playful syllables and sounds: story-telling through the medium of a form of poetry.

Lillie: How did you learn how to draw all the animals?

GN: To draw anything well one needs to practice, and so I do. I draw every day and often at night. For this book, I studied videos, looked at my old sketches from when I would go to the zoo or the Museum of Natural History to sketch animals. I also looked at dozens of photos of animals in all kinds of poses and habitats. The author of this book gave me lots of good first hand information because he actually lives near all these animals. He sent me some wonderful photos of Orlando the wood owl and for another project we hope to work he sent me some great elephant photos. (For the more information from Brettel and Ginger, see our interview at Wandering Educators)

See Other Children’s books:

One about Japan, here, Switzerland , France, Michigan, and Rhode Island.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

2 thoughts on “Children’s Book About Africa

  1. My granddaughter is a little young for this but she loves rhyming books. I’ll keep this in mind for when she’s older. Wish you could have posted one of your daughter’s drawings, Jessie.
    .-= Donna Hull´s last blog ..Take Me to Chico’s =-.

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