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The Adventures of Nzumah: The First Volcano (2013)

Written and Illustrated by Naa Korkoi Abotchi


Hey, this one was pretty good. This is the third volume of The Adventures of Nzumah, all written by Naa Korkoi Abotchi, and published by Matador - who were good enough to send me these complimentary copies.

I couldn't find much information on Abotchi, other than that she was born in Ghana and now lives in Harrow. "[My] series has been inspired by conversations with her grandmother," she writes in her author bio, "whose story telling was legendary and who has been a very important part of [my] life. She is still very much alive when I remember the stories every day."

This would have been a great story to have been told as an impressionable child, and it was not a story I had heard before. Though now that I have, it makes perfect sense. Volcanoes are the result of a giant dragon who was long ago trapped underground by some crafty villagers, and who now wanders underground still, spewing out in anger.

At first, two brave, strong men attempt to take on the dragon single-handedly, and fail. It is the third man, Yinka, who has the idea to seek help from the entire village. By working together, he decides, the dragon can be defeated.

There were some nice, gruesome images of the dragon chowing down on some livestock, and the festive scenes of the villagers celebrating had a lot of really wonderful details, dancing and musical intruments. I believe I could really see Abotchi growing as a writer and an illustrator in just these three titles, and I hope she continues!

1 comment:

  1. This third book in the series offers many useful connections for teachers. Setting this story in Bantu gives it immediate appeal as at first it is an unknown world to most readers. As the story unfolds we see the
    multi-layered possibilities for any teacher to explore with the class - how do you deal with violence and danger today? The power of working together rather than alone verses force and the use of weapons to name just two. The unlikely hero Yinka would make a wonderful link into stories of unexpected heroes and
    heroines today. Many thanks and I hope all schools will use these stories.
    Sr Judith Russi
    Director EducareM


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