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African Beginnings Hardcover – January 20, 1998


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Hardcover, January 20, 1998
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1210L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad (January 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688102565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688102562
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 UpAThis informative picture book is a handsomely illustrated overview of Africa's ancient empires. From thousands of years ago when the Sahara was green and fertile, to the peak of the African slave trade in the late 1700's, many cultures flourished. Readers learn that Egypt was once ruled by the Kushites, whose kings were shown in temple and tomb depictions as black pharaohs. European explorers and exploiters ignored the continent's past in their preoccupation with treasure. The slaves who survived the brutal journey of the Middle Passage brought with them their rich oral history and traditions, eventually blending elements of their cultures with those of the New World in North, Central, and South America. There is just enough information in the text to leave children curious to learn more about these ancient empires, and the extensive bibliography points to more detailed sources. Cooper's understated paintings in muted colors effectively convey a feeling of strength and power. His oil wash on boards technique gives a textured antique appearance to the beautiful double-page spreads. A stunning introduction to African history.AEunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-7. Although books about ancient Egypt generally are available in abundance, titles dealing with other African civilizations have been much more difficult to find. In this handsomely designed picture book for older readers, the authors begin with Nubia around the year 3800 B.C. and continue surveying the cultures (including Egyptian) in chronological order, covering 11 in all. Separate sections on music and dance, the spread of Islam, slavery, trade with Europeans, and art and religion are also included, along with milestones and a bibliography. The oil-and-wash paintings, which reflect Cooper's exceptional ability to capture people's faces, portray the varied cultures with dignity and spirit. Both the authors and the artist have done their research, but as Haskins notes in the introduction, the book is "only a glimpse." It is a place to begin. Susan Dove Lempke

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KHarrell on August 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
How do you answer the questions about African history for an inquisitive, young mind? My 6-year old son wanted to know about Africa, where African people came from and about our origins as African-Americans. This book not only illustrates African culture and its people, but it is an early reader that he can understand and read with me or on his own. African Beginnings offers a colorful preview into the beginning of African tribes cultures and knowledge and capabilities in a way that a child can understand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WALTRINA KIRKLAND-MULLINS on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although African civilization is an integral part of world history, it is an aspect of world history that is too often underemphasized--particularly at the elementary grade level. Young learners are seldom made aware that great empires like Egypt, Ghana, Jenne-Jeno, Kush, Songhay, Timbuktu, Nubia... once served as cradles of civilization led by kings and queens of ebon hue. This work, captivatingly illustrated by Floyd Cooper, helps to dispel stereotypical images of ancient African culture while serving as a springboard to African heritage. AFRICAN BEGINNINGS is a must-have resource for elementary students (Grades 2 through 5) and educators across cultures!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 20, 2001
Format: Library Binding
This book was very informative and full of wonderfully painted pictures. It has much information on many of the main countries in Africa including music, religion, etc... Great book for reports for the kids in school.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This book is a MUST for any household with children of African descent. The illustrations are stunning and are full of details that reinforce the history we are learning. Good for any group interested in actually studying the world since Africa is so grossly underrepresented.
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