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Africa Is Not A Country Paperback – January 1, 2002


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Africa Is Not A Country + A Is for Africa + Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book (Picture Puffin Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761316477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761316473
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-4-The authors narrate the experiences of children at play, at school, and at home, and use realistic illustrations to explore the cultural, environmental, ethnic, and social diversity of the 53 countries that make up the African continent. They explain that in Rwanda, refugee children (many of whom have been orphaned) are making pictures of war, while in Kenya, two children race to school, dreaming of one day becoming professional runners. From vast deserts with camels in the North to lush agricultural lands in Central and Southern Africa, the widely varied terrains are described in a paragraph or two of text. Unfortunately, there are no chapter or subtopic headings to indicate immediately what country is being discussed, and there is no indication of where it is located on the continent, so it's difficult to find it on the map. While the art is lively and colorful, and the book concludes with an alphabetical listing of the countries and facts about them, this offering does have its drawbacks.-Daniel Mungai, Queens Borough Public Library, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 6-8. The title says it all. Instead of the "vanishing tribes" view of one Africa with tourists from different countries photographing the animals and primitive people, this informative picture book celebrates the diversity of the 53 nations that make up the continent today. On each page there's a quick vignette of children in one country, with a bright, happy, colorful illustration. Three girls in school uniform walk on Cairo's jammed city sidewalks. A boy in Nigeria practices the ancient Igbo dances. At the back a small note on each country fills in facts about geography, currency, population, etc. There's still the danger of generalization (kids in Kenya running to school), and there are minor inaccuracies (South Africa's Freedom Day dates from 1994, not 1974); but readers will want to go on from here to explore in depth particular countries that interest them. The essential differences and connections are here. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Everyone needs this book!
JD
Each page also has a beautiful illustration of children in every country.
Karen
We read this after studying her school lessons.
Jacqueline Caparas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By mbugua@care2.com on September 9, 2000
Format: Library Binding
KNIGHT, Margy Burns Mark Melnicove Africa is Not a Country Millbrook Sep 2000 Grade 1-4
This book dispels the misconception that Africa is a country. The authors narrate the experiences of children at play, school, home, and use realistic illustrations to explore the cultural, environmental, ethnic and social diversity of all 53 countries that make up the African continent. They instruct the reader about each African country, revealing its unique characteristics among the family of African nations. For example on Rwanda, kids are shown making pictures of war, while on Kenya, which is famous for producing long distance runners, the authors show two children running to school, dreaming of one day becoming professional runners. The vast and varied African continent is shown using maps and the different people who inhabit the different environments. From vast deserts with camels in the North, to lush agricultural lands in Central and Southern Africa, the authors introduce Africa to young children in this colorful and easily readable book, and explains that Africa is so large, diverse and complex, it should not be thought as a single nation. Africa has so much to offer: soccer, agricultural products, different religious faiths, fossils, and the diversity is not only of land and culture, but of people too. At the end of the book is an alphabetical capsule of all 53 countries, featuring capital city, population, Independence Day, currency, a pronunciation guide, national flags, and unique facts about the country. Beautifully illustrated and well researched, it will be a joy to young children being introduced to Africa and the many countries that make the African continent.
Daniel M. Mungai Queens Borough Public Library, New York City
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By BNO on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 4 year old son who is part African in order to, facilitate his learning about his roots. In general, the book is OK but, what is not true to form is the portrayal of most of sub Saharan Africa as a village. All the stories are about poor kids in villages with mud huts! From the book, one would assume yes, Africa is not a continent but, just a series of villages with no electricity nor running water; perpetuating yet another myth about Africa.

It would have been good to also read about the bustling city of Douala where kids rush to catch the school bus or, loud Nairobi with the matatus that take the school kids on field trips. I have not found a book like this yet so, a project in our home is to create one like this for our son.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ein Kunde on January 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's sort of sad that a book like this is even necessary, but I have seen teachers make assignments such as, "Everyone will do a report on how people live in different places. We need reports on Japan, Mexico, Germany, China, and Africa."
"Africa Is Not a Country" takes a brief look at the 50-some individual contries that make up the African continent. Each country is presented in a two-page spread, with some text and a large illustration. The text works in lots of facts about each country, without being overly academic. The illustrations are large, colorful, and detailed. The book begins with morning and ends at night and depicts people having breakfast, going to school, doing housework, shopping, playing, etc. The emphasis is always on modern people (not wildlife, not "exotic" tribes). Well done.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having visited many classes of young children, I have seen the ignorance that children today have about the African continent and the vast cultures that inhabit the mysterious land. Knight's writing is academic, but not too technical, and playful but honest as she presents a look at the daily lives of children from all over the continent. The book is complete with a listing of all the African countries and important facts about them making it handy in the classroom and wonderful detailed stories about specifically chosen countries making it useful for home story telling. Children need this book and the bst part is that they will love it too.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Merlin on June 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
As an African I find it strange that in this century there has to be a book specifically written to teach anyone, even kids, that Africa is not a country but a continent of over 50 sovereign states and thousands of ethnicities. Ironically, I find that most of this ignorance is within the African American community. Even in recent months and years adults still ask me ridiculous questions such as: "can I get a rental car to drive to Africa?".. "Is there real estate and nice houses in Africa?" The latter question, very recent, was by a college-educated female friend, so I Googled the hospital where I was born in one of the largest cities in the world - in Sub-Saharan Africa. I zoomed into the hospital facility and surrounding commercial sky-scrapers. Then I felt sorry for the look of surprise on her face.

A few years ago I traveled home and returned to the US with pictures of my nieces and nephews at their nice homes. The kids looked like and dressed like any middle class American kids from good homes. My friend at first did not believe the images. The expectation was to see starved children in a war-torn village, the type you see on those commercials asking you for money. Or what you see on TV when President Jimmy Carter visits a remote village to do charity work.

This book in particular does not help by portraying erroneously, that most Africans live in one big village of huts and mud houses.

I must also blame Africans for encouraging this misconception. Africans tend to speak in terms of "In Africa we do this, in Africa we do that". Nothing is further from the truth than a monolithic African. As a West African, I do not even know a lot in details about other West Africans, let alone the Eastern and Southern Africans.
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