ISBN 9789988647469
Pages 36
Dimensions 265 x 280mm
Illustrations Colour Illustrations
Published 2017
Publisher Sub-Saharan Publishers, Ghana
Format Hardback

Animal Village

by Nelda LaTeef

Animal Village is an award-winning authentic folk tale from the Zarma culture of West Africa about a tortoise who saves her village from the ravages of drought with wisdom passed down from an "old story." Nelda LaTeef's colorful and strikingly brilliant montage of illustrations, in acrylic and collage, captures the richness and vibrancy of the sub-Saharan culture from which the story springs.

The story is especially relevant to sub-Saharan Africa as it focuses on the devastation of drought and the importance of received knowledge. With its dual themes of wisdom and grit, the book happily entertains while it teaches the importance of hard work and persistence as keys to success.

Animal Village has received a number of awards and notable mentions:

2019 Storytelling World Honor Award

Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Books of 2018

Kirkus Reviews' Indie Best Books of the Month, June 2018

Kirkus Starred review

2018 Literary Classics Seal of Approval

2018 Literary Classics International Book Awards: Gold medal (special interest category) and Silver medal (picture book category)

Independent Book Publishing Group's Best Books of 2018

2018 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist


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“In her book, Animal Village, such mighty lessons Nelda LaTeef teaches the young and those of us who are not so young. Listen to the ‘old stories’ passed down from ‘the ancestors;’ it is always better to pull together rather than stand against each other; keep at a task until it is done; and everything is possible, by and by.”

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

“Animal Village is an inspiring story that teaches us perseverance and the value of working together. What is true in the animal village equally holds for our global village.''

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for Trade and European Neighborhood Policy and Chief of Protocol for the United Nations

"LaTeef is an author/illustrator to watch... World folktale collections should welcome this beautifully illustrated volume."

About the Author

Nelda LaTeef

While living in the Republic of Niger, Nelda LaTeef traveled by Land Rover to the fabled city of Timbuktu. Her children’s picture books Animal Village (named Best Books of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews and a Children’s Africana Book Awards Honour Book) and, The Hunter and the Ebony Tree, both received starred Kirkus reviews, the Storytelling World Honor Award, and were translated in numerous languages including Italian, Korean, Gaelic, French and Spanish. LaTeef studied at Harvard University and her book, Working Women for the 21st Century: Fifty Women Reveal Their Pathways to Success, was selected as recommended reading for young adults by The New York Public Library. She lives with her family in Virginia.

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