Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday Poetry: Africa

by Carole Boston Weatherford. Great Brain Entertainment, 2013. (nook ebook). After I posted about the non-fiction book Africa for Kids; Exploring a Vibrant Continent last week, author Carol Boston Weatherford reached out to me on my G+ account to suggest I check out her latest ebook project, a poetry book called Africa. On her blog she says,

"Just in time for Black History Month. AFRICA, my new ebook, celebrates the Motherland through poetry and photos. For children ages 0-6. The book is the debut release from Great Brain Entertainment, a venture by fine artist and digital designer Jeffery Weatherford (my son)."

I was very excited to get Africa on my nook and share it with my son. The pictures are adorable and the texts is light-heated, charming, and  engaging. The whole book is just sixteen pages long, with goreous photos accompanying a sweet poem that will delight children and their grownups. Here are screen captures of the first two pages:

This simple but thoughtful poem brings several important concepts to children as they are introduced to the continent of Africa. First, it is a vast and complex continent filled with widely diverse habitats, animals and people. So many times we lump it all in together and don't realize that it's not just one country, one wild savannah. This book includes child-friendly images of our favorite African animals, the lions, elephants and zebras. It also includes major features and industries, including the Nile, the ancient pyramids, diamonds, a nod to the first humans, and beautiful images of elders and young children in a variety of family and cultural groups. The diversity and dynamic energy of this vibrant land with a long history and a bright future is celebrated on every page. It's a lot to pack into such a short, rhythmic poem, but Weatherford does a masterful job!

The one quibble I have with the nook edition is that the photos and text are small and there is too much white space on the page. I am not able to zoom in to increase the size of the photos, which is frustrating. Young readers will want to have larger photos and text. You can get the nook software free on your computer so you could get a larger screen size this way. I also had some trouble uploading screen captures from my nook and had to get a colleague to help me grab them from my iPod touch, which also has the nook software loaded. This post has been a learning curve for me! One great thing about the nook edition is that is is a "lend me" book, so that anyone else with nook software and my email address can ask to borrow it. :) Love that!

 I posted about Weatherford's book Moses  in 2006.
Video interview with Weatherford at Reading Rockets
Weatherford biography at Writers & Illustrators of North Carolina 
Interview with Robyn Hood Black
If you live near Charlotte you can go see her in person this month!

Friday Poetry is rounded up by Tara at A Teaching Life. Enjoy!


Robyn Hood Black said...

Thanks for sharing, Andi! Sounds like a great project. I heard CBW speak at the Georgia Children's Lit conference last spring. Here's an interview I did with her afterwards:
Interesting to explore all these new technologies re. books - and comforting to know others encounter glitches now and then!

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your thoughts on this. I'm certainly guilty of lumping Africa all together, even though I 'Know better."

That page 2 pic is adorable!

Thanks for sharing this.

Bridget Magee said...

Thanks for highlighting this ebook! Oh how I wish I had a Nook to enjoy it in its entirety. Thanks for sharing. =)

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Robyn, thanks for sharing that. I added your link to the post.

Bridget, you can get the nook or kindle software for FREE on any computer or device. The ebook is very reasonable or can be borrowed & shared.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, my, gosh, those pictures are great.

My middle daughter loved Weatherford's book, Moses -- she went through a huge Harriet Tubman phase when she was about ten, enlisting the family to help her film a script she put together about Tubman.

Anyway, thanks for this, and you're right -- using the Nook app on the computer would help with the size issues. (I have a Kindle, but also have the Kindle app on other devices/laptop, and there are some things that work better on a bigger screen.)

Mary Lee said...

This looks great! Thanks for highlighting it!