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Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales (Aesop Accolades (Awards)) Hardcover – November 18, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobel Peace laureate Mandela understandably gets top billing here, but this collection of short fables compiles writings and translations by numerous authors and features illustrations by a diverse collection of artists. Together, the tales and their accompanying artwork create a patchwork of legends drawn from all over the African continent, from Morocco to Kenya to Swaziland. Snakes with seven heads and Zulu tricksters are found here, as well as various creation myths and a Kenyan lion (with the familiar name of Simba) who teaches a cunning hyena a lesson. The colorful birds, giant elephants and mischievous children populating the volume teach sometimes cryptic lessons about obedience, perseverance, cooperation and the simple strangeness of life. In one story, the children of an East African village must destroy a beautiful and enchanting bird that has brought bad luck to the surrounding countryside. In another, a courageous girl frees a prince from the spell that made him a python. In tales such as these, the dream-like, unpredictable symbology and sometimes cruel morality of myths resonate, and, in Mandela's words, the "gritty essence of Africa" shines through in stories with universal themes.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5-Mandela states in the foreword, "It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller will never die in Africa-.," and he has chosen 32 traditional tales for this handsome oversized volume. While nearly half the selections have their origins in South Africa, the rest represent some of the continent's most cherished tales and come from Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and other sub-Saharan countries as well as a single selection from Morocco. Each story is introduced with a short provenance or source note, and a frontispiece map matches each tale with its geographical area. Told by a variety of storytellers and folklorists, or gleaned from previously published sources, the tellings vary from literary to contemporary. The book also provides a showcase for 18 illustrators, mostly from South Africa, who contributed one full-page illustration per story. This is a rich collection that would provide depth and breadth to any classroom study alongside the many single-tale picture-book editions readily found on library shelves.
Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Series: Aesop Accolades (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1St Edition edition (November 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393052125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393052121
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 0.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948 before being arrested in August 1962. In November 1962 he was sentenced to five years in prison and started serving his sentence at Robben Island Prison in 1963 before being returned to Pretoria, where he was to later stand in the Rivonia Trial. From 1964 to 1982, he was again incarcerated at Robben Island Prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor Prison, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily.

Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestsellers Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself.

© Nelson R. Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation / PQ Blackwell Ltd

Customer Reviews

The soundtrack is brilliant, and the stories are just the right length for a listener of any age.
Amazon Customer
The story readings on this audiobook are wonderful for children of all ages and adults as well, and your purchase supports children in South Africa orphaned by AIDS.
S. R. Gelman
It has many more stories than I thought (so real value for money!), awesome illustrations & even some songs for the kids to learn.
Nomad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Gelman on June 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This audiobook was awarded the 2010 Audies for Audiobook of the Year and Best Multi-Voiced Audiobook. It was nominated for a Grammy, received a number of other accolades and awards.

The story readings on this audiobook are wonderful for children of all ages and adults as well, and your purchase supports children in South Africa orphaned by AIDS.

The readings are done by numerous remarkable actors including Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, and Alfre Woodard with a message from Desmond Tutu and music by African legends Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jenni on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These stories are delightful, the illustrations are superb...I bought a copy for my grand-daughter, and was so enthralled that I ordered a second copy for me!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The stories are rich and full of life. Storytelling lives on...thank you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bingo-Karen Haney VINE VOICE on September 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nelson Mandela put together this amazing group of celebrities to read and help tell his favorite African Folktales with proceeds going to help AIDS/HIV children in South Africa. That makes it good enough for me. But add to that the fact that the folk tales are charming and so well presented, and you give a gift as much as you get a gift. Well worth it. I also gave it as gifts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Walker on June 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my newborn and I recommend it for children of all ages. The stories are great tales to share with your family. They are even entertaining for adults. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By e on February 10, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of folktales has some true gems. I truly liked the one read by Whoopi Goldberg... it was just amazing. She does such an outrageous job! She takes the story and runs with it. It's worth buying this CD just to hear her read the story about the troublesome genie.
But many of these tales are disturbing, like the one about a rabbit who does something wrong and then gets a cleft lip and palate as punishment. I really don't like the idea teaching children to think of people with birth defects as bad people who are deserving of deformity. There are many strange moments like this in these stories. Bad messages, disturbing messages... you basically have to listen to the whole things yourself first, screen it and then only play the stories that are appropriate because you cannot trust that these stories are going to be acceptable from a content level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This audiobook is just lovely. I bought this for my 8 year old son for Kwanzaa, and we are both captivated. It's usually our "traveling music." The soundtrack is brilliant, and the stories are just the right length for a listener of any age. My son and I are both very visual people, and we are both practicing more attentive and active listening. We don't get "lost" in these fables. The variety of narrators also keeps it hopping. It's fun to see if you recognize the voices as there are quite a few Hollywood A-listers narrating. My only recommendation is that you purchase the book as well as the CDs. The book would be a great supplement to those trying to improve reading skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nomad on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my little siblings, aged between 10 - 6 years old. Being proudly South Africa, when I saw Mandela's name and read some of the reviews I immediately went and placed my order. It sounded like a perfect story book. But when it arrived a few days ago and I opened the book I was blown away by just how GREAT this book it. It has many more stories than I thought (so real value for money!), awesome illustrations & even some songs for the kids to learn. And if you play guitar or piano there are even notes so you could play + sing the songs.

GREAT buy for adult & children readers. You won't regret this purchase...and for such a reasonable price. Very few such quality books left today! This one is a keep!
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