Africans thought of it Amazing innovations

Bathseba Opini

Book - 2011

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Children's Room Show me where

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Location Call Number   Status
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Toronto ; New York : Annick Press 2011.
Main Author
Bathseba Opini (-)
Other Authors
Richard Lee, 1937- (-)
Physical Description
48 p. : col. ill., maps
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents unavailable.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-The African continent as a whole reveals a rich smorgasbord of cultural and societal contributions from its people. A few pages focus on elements that shaped their early way of life, including hunting, medicine, communication, and music. Vivid photographs feature authentic objects used (such as the vuvuzela instrument or the bao game), while people engaged in activities capture an enthusiastic look at the reliance on community. Colored backgrounds and borders present a busy, though uncluttered, dynamic portrayal of nuanced cultures. Three cartoon panels show how furnaces were made, with four naked boys sitting around one; this inclusion seems to be a random addition within the rest of the uniform presentation. Scientific and creative achievements focus on the innovative use of natural resources to depict Africa as a major contributor to the world landscape. Overall, succinct definitions and compact descriptions provide a brief and interesting blend of the contemporary with the traditional. The informative and age-appropriate introduction highlights the authors' personal and professional experiences; the succinct time line and recommended resources offer advanced (and slightly dated) options for further exploration. The mention of historical and contemporary issues (Apartheid, HIV/AIDS) may gloss over the severity of the obstacles at hand through the slightly glib conclusion ("This history, along with the courage and determination displayed by people all over Africa, suggest that there is every reason to be optimistic about the future of this great continent"), but it's the plethora of rich examples that most successfully support this statement.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

This entry in the We Thought of It series introduces African innovations in various fields including architecture, arts and crafts, communication, musical instruments and more.The series features co-writing by an academic expert and a member of the country or culture represented, clear, colorful design that includes numerous full-color photos and a great deal of information. A fascinating blend of tradition and modernity is evident, especially in one photo of a Maasai man in traditional clothing using a digital camera to photograph animal tracks. The innovations range from the familiar (bow and arrow; pyramids) to some that will be new to most kids (a "rondavel," or round house; "injera," a spongy bread). Although the text focuses on history of these discoveries and inventions, briefly putting them into contemporary context, there is also a helpful "Africa Today" chapter. Unfortunately, the decision to treat Africa as a single entityother series titles focus on an individual country or people, such as The Chinese Thought of It (2009) or The Inuit Thought of It (2007)contributes to the lack of awareness about the many different countries, languages and cultures represented on this enormous continent. The text, as opposed to the title, does address Africa's diversity, often noting that the same item or concept is known by different names throughout Africa, for example.Interesting to browse and suitable for research. (Nonfiction. 8-11)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.