Animal Village is an 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.
“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.”
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