African Animal Folktales and Fables

This past summer, I wanted to expose my children to books from other cultures.  So, we went to the library and got a variety.  Some went over really well, and others fell flat.  We checked out a group of very interesting and beautifully illustrated – animal folktales and fables from Africa.


African folktales and fables


  • Greedy Zebra by Mwenye Hadithi (man with many stories) and illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway. We travel with a very hungry Zebra to find out how the animals got the diversity that we enjoy today.  We also find out how being greedy left Zebra with only the scrap choice of skins.  Inspired by the bush of Kenya, this book is filled with wonderful illustrations with vibrant color!


  • Hot Hippo by Mwenye Hadithi and illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway.  Unhappy on land, this loveable but determined Hippo goes on an adventure to find the place he will call home.  Read more about who he has to strike a deal with to get his wish.


  • The Lonely Lioness and the Ostrich Chicks Retold by Verna Aardma and illustated by Yumi Heo.   A Masai (semi-nomadic people from Kenya and Northern Tanzania) folktale about one very lonely lioness that just wants one baby.  When she gets greedy and takes all the chicks from Ostrich – The Ostrich has to get clever to get her chicks back.  Told beautifully, the drawings are stunning.  The story will engage your children!  This was my favorite book of them all.


  • A Pride of African Tales by Donna L. Washington and illustrated by James Ransome (a Coretta Scott King Award Winner).   This book is a collection of 6 African tales.  All these stories come from these regions in Africa Story Regions in Africa Interesting note: The first story is a story of Anansi.  Anansi is a prevalent character from Ghana – who takes many forms and is very clever.  In this story Anansi is human, but I have seen him also depicted as a spider.   Anywho – there are a few interesting animal stories in this book.  One is Shansa Mutongo Shima from The Republic of Congo.  This is a cautionary tale, which means it uses a story to impart warnings or give advice.  It tells the story of the dangers of judging people from appearances alone.  A very nice story!  This is a good one.  It has a lot of interesting stories that your kids will enjoy.


Please tweet this review to share African Folktales and Fables with other families


Have you read any African Folktales, Fairytales or Fables that you and your family have liked?  If so, I would love to hear.


About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. LOVE reading fables….such great lessons and so many activities to do with them. I remember fables always being a big hit in my elementary classroom. going to add these to Dino’s library list. Thanks Lisa. …oh even fun to create your own fable…with older kids…and poster…LOL….

    how do you set up that tweet to go out like that? I need to learn how to do that, LOL.
    karen recently posted…WALKING OVER A RIVERMy Profile

  2. Thank you for this list. I’ve just been recently trying to find other books for Madison to enjoy and these look rather good. Will check them out on Amazon as well and may get at least 1 of them. If you have other suggestions let me know.
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…PlasmaBike Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  3. I love this post Lisa! We have A Pride of African Tales and my daughters love the stories but we haven’t read the others you mention. We’ll have to keep an eye out for them.
    Jody recently posted…Preschool Learning Activities: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a FlyMy Profile

  4. I think that knowledge about different people and cultures is so important. Knowledge creates curiosity and tolerance on the long run ! As always, I admire your attention to teaching your kids about other cultures! Nice book! Thank you for the review!
    Maria recently posted…Power Your Child’s Learning at the Beginning of the School YearMy Profile

  5. Thanks Lisa love these covers and we love folk tales too, requesting all 4!
    Ann recently posted…Junior EngineerMy Profile


  1. […] below (we read them all this week) and Lisa at The Squishable Baby just posted a list of African Animal Folktales and Fables that I’m looking forward to […]

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