Amazing African Storybooks

The Small Five written by Ralph Johnstone, illustrated by Harriet Stanes


Most of us have heard of the Big Five, those five magnificent animals that safari holidaymakers most wish to see; but have you ever heard of the Small Five? No? Neither had I, until I read this hilarious book by Ralph Johnstone, gloriously and riotously illustrated by Harriet Stanes.

Told in humorous rhyming text, the story introduces the big five of lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo; I loved the adorable puns, such as lion being the “mane man”! The Battle of the Bush begins when their tiny namesakes – antlion the doodlebug, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver bird, leopard tortoise and elephant shrew challenge them to a test of survival skills.

This is an entertaining introduction to some amazing African wildlife which I feel sure will be enjoyed again and again by young readers and any adults who have the pleasure of reading it aloud. It also contains the excellent message that being big and tough isn’t everything, no-one should be overlooked just because they are small. I highly recommend it, and don’t forget to look out for the little Colotis butterfly on every page.

My thanks to Little Steps Publishing for my gifted copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.


Africa Day written by Chi Mary Kalu and illustrated by Jelena Jordanovic-Lewis



This is a vibrant and wonderful celebration of the joy of African culture as a little boy accompanies his mother on a trip to the Africa Day Festival. From the glossy illustrations on the front cover of you feel the joy of Emeka as he embarks on his exciting day out. The illustrator Jelena Jordanovic-Lewis has captured the exuberance of the festival on every page with her kinetic artwork in earthy tones.

Readers are introduced to the new vocabulary of Emeka’s culture: Ankara and dashiki shirts, kente shorts, the language Igbo, jollof rice and moi moi and share his exhilaration as he dances through the day.

A marvellous picture book, pulsating with energy,  which I highly recommend for any child of three years and older to explore.

Thank you to Little Steps Publishing for my review copy of this glorious book.

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