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ERIC Number: ED405586
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
City Children in African Children's Literature.
Kuntz, Patricia S.
A descriptive study identified titles and features of children's books set in an African city. Data were collected from various reviews of children's literature for titles published since 1980. In addition, the Cooperative Children's Book Center's log list of acquired titles for Africa from 1990 to 1996 was reviewed. Results showed that authors set stories in such African cities as Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Banjul (Gambia); Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa); Fez (Morocco); Freetown (Sierra Leone); Marrakech (Morocco); Harare (Zimbabwe), Johannesburg (South Africa), Lamu (Kenya), or Tangier (Morocco). On the basis of a demographic map, more than 100 cities stand out as potential sites for stories about city children in Africa. When cities are the setting for a story, authors most often selected one where English was the official language, such as Gambia or Zimbabwe. Certain books show great insights into African cities and the relationship among its inhabitants, but many have significant content problems. Authors tend to accentuate animism as an explanation of nature and to focus on minority populations to illustrate the exotic; they also concentrate on the achievements of the Afrikaaners even though they represent only 12% of the population of South Africa. Findings suggest that English language books on Africa do not do justice to the continent. Few North Americans would want African children to read only stories focused on the Amish or Mennonites from rural communities in Iowa or Pennsylvania, and yet this is essentially how most children's books represent Africa. (Contains 8 notes, a 44-item bibliography, and appendixes of 1980-1997 book titles and of biography titles.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa