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Showing posts with label The Adventures of Nzumah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Adventures of Nzumah. Show all posts

11.05.2013

The Adventures of Nzumah: The Proud Peacock (2013)

Written and Illustrated by Naa Korkoi Abotchi

Matador

Nzumah is back in another story-within-a-story. This book follows from The Ugly Chick. I liked that in this one, we are given some more details about the world the story takes place in. Before, all we knew was that Nzumah was the son of a king. As this story opens, the kingdom is given a name, the Bantu kingdom, and we are told that it is, "surrounded by hills in a secluded valley... hidden from the world."

I actually prefer the framing device of these stories to the actual stories. I looked up 'Bantu kingdom,' assuming it to be fictional, I found this description of it on althistorywikia.com:

"The Bantu were a tribe originating in central Africa but predominantly in Nigeria. After the conquest of Nigeria by the Roman Empire many tribes escaped into southern Africa. One of these were the Bantu. The Bantu at first settled on the border of the Satavahana so that they could benefit from their trade. But soon the Satavahana began attacking the Bantu for invading their lands. The bantu fought back and the Satavahana believed that they were an uncivilized people, but they had weapons on par with the Satavahana. By 1075 (322 AD) the Bantu almost all were settled on the border north of the Satavahana. A large war ensued in which the bantu attempted to take most of the mainland parts of the Satavahana Kingdom. they were defeated but the Satavahana had a Pyrrhic Victory and settled for allowing the Bantu to create a state on their border. The general of the Bantu became the first King, Namula, and he ruled with a strong and dignified ability and asserted his control over the body of water named Lake Bantu (Lake Tanganyika) and the northern shores of Lake Malawi."

Althistorywikia.com is the wiki page for fictional places and histories, so I'm not really sure what's going on here, or why it's significant.

What I am sure about is the fact that in this story, Nzumah struts around his village, going from the market to the story hut, dressed in a new outfit that the youngest of his father's wives had given to him. But... how can he play when he's wearing nice, new clothes???!!!

Fortunately, the tale of the Proud Peacock is told to him, and the day is saved. Phew!







10.29.2013

The Adventures of Nzumah: The Ugly Chick (2013)

Written and Illustrated by Naa Korkoi Abotchi

Matador

Funny to think the last time I reviewed this basic story, it was for the Maynard Moose tale, The Uglified Ducky. Now here it is again, but told with complete earnestness. It's not a moose being raised by ducks, but an eagle being raised by a hen, at the foot of Mount Killimanjaro, which is a good place for a story to take place.

This is the first book in a trilogy of books about a young boy named Nazumah, the son of a King, to whom the great lessons of life are imparted via storytelling.

This was a strange book for me to read, and I'm having a lot of trouble saying anything about it, I'm afraid. I'm so used to reading children's books which somehow subvert the presumed expectations of the readers, or find some ironic twist... but this is pretty much a straight-up ugly duckling story. Hen raises the ugly chick, turns out its an eagle, and Nazumah realizes, "We are all special in different ways and should learn to respect each other."
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