Never Miss a Beat

Read Around The World Africa Booklist 

Read Around The World African Folktales Booklist 

We are a family of happy travelers, in fact, we call ourselves “The Traveling Tribe.” It should be the name of our family memoir.:)\

When we aren’t traveling physically, we are “armchair traveling.” It’s educational, fun, and a great way to learn new things about our world as a family. One way I’ve taught my children about the 7 continents is to use books from a specific continent and incorporate that into storytime or family reading time. Folktales are especially good for this project.


Did you know that:

  • Africa is the second-largest continent in the world?
  • Africa is also called the Dark Continent because for a very long time not much was known about it. Africa’s terrain was very difficult to navigate and discover.
  •  Africa is the home of the Nile, the longest river in the world.
  • It is also the home of the Sahara, the largest desert in the world.
  • The equator passes through the middle of the African continent, this means it receives direct sunlight all year round. Africa’s hottest country (temp-wise) is Ethiopia.
    Africa is very rich in minerals. Ninety-five percent of the worlds’ diamonds and more than 50% of the world’s gold comes from Africa.
  • 66% of the world’s chocolate comes from Africa.
  • Africa is considered to be the place where the first humans lived and learned to use tools.

There are some very masterful storytellers about Africa. Did you know that Africa is also known as the storytelling continent? Where possible I’ve organized this list by some great authors and storytellers.

Read Around Africa Booklist

Books by Verna Aardema: Verna Norberg Aardema Vugteveen, best known by the name Verna Aardema, was an American author of children’s books. Born Verna Norberg in New Era, Michigan she graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Journalism in 1934. She worked as a grade-school teacher from 1934 to 1973 and became a correspondent for the Muskegon Chronicle in 1951, which lasted until 1972, the year before she retired from teaching elementary school:

Read Around The World Africa Booklist \

Bimwili and the Zimwi: This story from Zanzibar explains what happens when Bimwili returns to the seashore to find a shell that she has left there. She is captured by an evil Zimwi who imprisons her in his drum. The purpose of this tale is to warn children about the dangers of straying alone from the village.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: This Nandi story uses rhyme and repetition in a cumulative pattern to teach about life and animals on the savannah. When the rains are late, Ki-pat uses an eagle feather to end the drought on the plain.

Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa: From Angola to Zanzibar, this treasury is as varied and bountiful as Africa itself!  Master storyteller Verna Aardema retells 12 tales of justice and revenge, greed and generosity, sly trickery, and off-the-wall silliness with her trademark humor and flair.

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears : This West African cumulative tale begins when Mosquito tells Iguana a tall tale. Iguana, rather than listen to Mosquito, puts sticks in his ears and that is when the problem begins.

Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali  by Khephra BurnsMufaro’s

Beautiful Daughter by John Steptoe

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell

Bintou’s Braids by Sylviane Diouf

Read Around The World Africa Booklist \

Bury my Bones but Keep my Words: African Tales for Re-telling by Tony Fairman

The Hunter and the Crocodile by Baba Wague Diakite


Stories by Ann Grifalconi

Darkness and the Butterfly
The Village of Round and Square Houses

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel

Stories by Tololwa M. Mollel

Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper. A Masai Tale
The Orphan Boy
My Rows and Piles of Coins

Stories by Tololwa M. Mollel\

The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kinte Cloth by Margaret Musgrove

The Fortune-Tellers by Lloyd Alexander

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park


Sense Pass King: A Story from Cameroon

Off to the Sweet Shores of Africa and Other Talking Drum Rhymes by Uzo Unobagha

 The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba


 Africa for Kids: Exploring a Vibrant Continent 19 activities  by Harvey Croze


We could not have a list about Africa without a couple of books about one of the most incredible people on the planet; Nelson Mandela.

Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela by Yona Zeldis McDonough


Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela

Who Was Nelson Mandela? by Pam Pollack

National Geographic Readers: Nelson Mandela by Barbara Kramer





What are your Africa Book picks?


During these times of solitude, social distancing, and maybe even lockdown, are your kids craving more things to do? Are you, as a parent, looking for the activities that will keep your wildlings busy while also sneaking in some learning?

Making reading an adventure and not a \”task/ chore/requirement\” is a great way to help them increase the desire to learn and keep them interested as well. But if you have reluctant readers in your home, that can just add another layer of stress to an already challenging routine. BUT, The ABCs of BookJumping is an ebook that is filled with tried-n-true book=inspired activities that will keep kids engaged and curious for hours.


The ABC\’s of BookJumping: The Best of Jump Into a Book by Valarie Budayr and Rebecca Flansburg allows frustrated parents of reluctant readers to enjoy hand-picked book reviews and unique companion activities that will reignite your child\’s love of reading and encourage screen-free family time.

What if you could \”live\” inside the pages of the children\’s books your family reads? What if you could enjoy the same adventures as the characters? Bookjumping is taking the solitary act of reading a book and transforming it into an event that can be shared with others. It\’s the process of pulling books off shelves and stories off pages. It\’s making kids\’ books come ALIVE by \”jumping\” inside the pages. Readers of this ebook will enjoy hand-picked book reviews and unique companion activities that will reignite your child\’s love of reading and encourage screen-free family time.

\”This fun picture-book-based e-book contains over 150 hand-picked book reviews, unique book-inspired activities, and recipes. Just in time for #summer reading!\” Amazon reviewer

We purposely made this book an ebook for the \”portability factor\” and affordable to fit every budget and family need.

Go here for more details on what you can expect from with awesome ebook and learn more about the authors.

Grab your copy of The ABCs of BookJumping: The Best of Jump Into a Book on Kindle HERE.


summer reading for reluctant readers\
summer reading for reluctant readers

Happy Reading!