My husband is heading to Africa this month for a volunteer work project in Uganda and Kenya. So I planned to take advantage of the opportunity to introduce our toddler to this incredible continent by reading him picture books based in Africa. Easier said than done.
Fortunately, I came across We All Went on Safari, A Counting Journey through Tanzania written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Julia Cairns. This wonderful rhyming picture book takes readers on safari through Tanzania with a Maasai family. The colorful illustrations beautifully recreate the vast valleys and plains of the Serengetti and the striking dress of the Maasai. I especially appreciate that the children are the stars of the story as they count up to ten different animals in both English and Swahili.
My favorite part, however, is the abundance of back matter — a map of Tanzania, details about the Maasai people, background on Swahili names and information about African wild animals. There is so much to discuss and learn in this seemingly simple book. It’s a wonderful introduction to Tanzania, a place that is likely unfamiliar beyond the fascinating animals.
We All Went on Safari was published right after I went on safari in Tanzania but if it had been available, I would have purchased copies for all the children on my gift list. Although I’m still on the search for books about Uganda and Kenya, I’d definitely recommend this book for toddlers and preschoolers as a great way to introduce them to Tanzania.
Do you know of any other picture books based in Africa? Suggestions are always welcome!
P.S. For a bit of background on the new blog feature World Book Reviews, check out the introduction post.
We All Went on Safari, A Counting Journey through Tanzania
Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns
Available at Amazon.