Archive for the ‘traditional tales’ Category

Children’s Book Illustrations

September 23, 2009

Illustration from “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me”
akuas-folish-wish1

Things we need to bear in mind when buying illustrated childrens books.Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME <a href="http://www.lulu. Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME http://www.lulu.com/content/5427635

Shush! Writer at Work

July 8, 2009

I’ve finally decided on a plan of action for fitting writing my next book into the rest of my life. Mornings are good for me. If I wake up early enough I get to enjoy the down chorus. Then breakfast, exercise and bathing come nexr. I’m full of energy until late afternoon when things rapidly go downhill.

The best plan seems to be for me to try and do my writing first thing after breakfast. This is not set in stone as sometimes something else will have to take priority. I’ve no intention of stressing myself out by trying to maintain a rigid regime.

The characters and the plot of this book for 12 year olds are growing and taking shape. Although I enjoy writing I am nevertheless disquieted by this book which will of necessity portray violence.

The thought passed through my mind in an idle moment that children’s stories give authors an opportunity to invent words. I thought of “smish” a word combining the idea of “smear” and “smash” and “schroon” for screaming and groaning at the same time.
If you have any words that you would like to bring into existence do please let me post them. Thank you.

Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe

The Frustrations of a Would Be Writer

July 3, 2009

Today the temperature was more than 30 degrees Celsius. I know for many of you this probably represents springtime conditions. But for me it is just too, too hot. Nevertheless I have actually achieved quite a lot. This has necessitated numerous lie down on the sofa with the air conditioning on. I’m trying to do my bit for the environment and I felt bad about turning it on. I have also dutifully increased my intake of water.

The reason why the day has not been entirely satisfactory for me lies with the choices I had to make earlier in the day. I am a great believer in prioritizing tasks so clearly making a loving input into my neglected website Dance to Health was the first thing on the list.

In my heart though I longed to begin work on my second book. I wanted to start designing the plan of the town where the story is set. This plan kept coming into my mind and needed to be firmly banished. One of the signs of the passage of time where I am concerned is that I am no longer so good at multitasking. I need to fully concentrate on one thing at a time so I do not like switching from one projet to another.

When I wrote Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told MeI had the exceptionally good fortune of being able to concentrate solely on that project. Now like most people I have to find a specific time to write. Getting up an hour or so earlier is not appealing but may be the way forward as going to bed later is out of the question. I’m going to have to find a solution. I have ideas for the book which I am dying to put to paper but the problem is one of organization.

But that’s life and these things are sent to try us. When I’ve found a solution I’ll let you know!

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Review of “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me” by Dzagbe Cudjoe

June 11, 2009

A review of Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe
Posted by: PEAdmin on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 – 11:28 AM Print article Printer-friendly page Email to a friend Send this story to someone
Reviews of Books
Reviewed by Teresa Aguilar

Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me
by Dzagbe Cudjoe
Strategic Book Publishing
Paperback: 52 pages, October 8, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-1934925874

Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me by Dzagbe Cudjoe is overall a well written collection of stories. The Author shows imagination and creativity , a natural story-teller. This is intended to be a children’s book, but I found that it was a little too detailed for a younger child to read without getting distracted. I would recommend this book for children age 9 and up.

A very nice dedication to the author’s father included, and the book design was excellent. The picture included in the first story may be too scary for some younger children but all the others pictures would catch a child’s interest. I would have liked to have read more about the author to get a sense of her connection with Ghanaian culture. I hope in her next book she includes a photo and a little background information on herself. These stories are from the mind of the Author, but reading them you would think they were really stories passed down through generations.

The first story in this book is “The Wicked Curse of Nibobobo” about a young man Fetu who wanted to marry Niniana a girl in his village but his father forbade him. The trouble that results from a curse made in revenge by Nibobobo, the mother of Niniana, affects the whole village. Fetu, Niniana, and a third character Ade then volunteer to take on the task of going to Great-Spirit-Who-Created-All-That-Is-On-This-Earth to remove the curse affecting the village. The three must pass all the trials given to them on their journey to prove themselves worthy of the great spirits help.

The next story “Akua’s Foolish Wish” went into too much detail on the making of clay pots and a child may lose interest in the story before they get to the actual story line of Akua. Once it goes into the story of Akua and her wish that the commemorative figure she has made of a great chief can speak then the story moves along well. The story is humorous and children will enjoy the rest of the tale.

“The Fingers of Fire story” is, by far, my favorite story in the whole book. A tale of Falisimu and his growing up in his Uncle Bendu’s home. The story describes how he came into his uncle’s care and met Laliya a girl close to Falisimu’s age. It goes into detail of what the lives of the children and adults were like in Northern Ghana which was interesting. It is an imaginative and spiritual story of two children creating an invention with the help of voices of fire and earth and finding out it’s use for the good of all.

The final story “Journey To The Chest Of Gold” was rather odd and out of place compared with the other stories in this book. I didn’t get the point of time traveling school trips and being invisible. Time travel can be interesting as a story in itself but compared with the other stories it did not fit with the tales a grandmother would tell about myths and legends of Ghanaian culture. The talking gold weights made no sense whatsoever to me either. A child might enjoy the inanimate objects talking to one another but overall the tale was just strange. But the last three photos at the end of this story including actual gold weights was a surprising bonus.

About the reviewer: Teresa Aguilar is a stay-at-home mom who lives near Lake Fork in Emory, Texas. Married for over 17 years with three children, the whole family shares a interest in books of all genres. She aspires to own a book shop of her own one day. Her time is spent raising her children and her miniature dachshunds and one orange tabby cat. She also tries to grow trees in clay, and finally having some success, maybe to have some shade in the future to read under. She would also like to say thank you to her cousin Jeanneta who read “The Hobbit” to her when she was a small child and started her love affair with books.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_1_37?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=tales+my+ghanaian+grandmother+told+me+by+dzagbe+cudjoe&sprefix=Tales+My+Ghanaian+Grandmother+Told+MeDzagbeCover compressed resized

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Visit to Howick Falls, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

March 4, 2009

Tuesday,24th February,2009
My new friend Julie who I met when out walking last week came to take me to Howick Falls about 30 kilometres from here. She came in to meet Donnette and the two got on very well together. Julie asked how the book signing went and before I knew it to my delight she offered to introduce me to Wycliffe school where one of her granddaughters goes.
Julie has a nice car and is an admirably careful driver. On arrival at Howick Falls it was raining. The way to the Falls is lined with tourist stalls and shops. I took a few photos of the waterfall which is an impressive 95 meters high. The view is spectacular. I learnt later that no one goes anywhere near the Falls after dark as people have been thrown over the Falls.
As the rain made prolonged viewing of the Falls rather uncomfortable Julie and I opted to visit Howick Museum. This is a typical local museum with great emphasis on worthies of the past. Apparently electricity has been produced from the Falls since the early nineteenth century and continues to do so. Howick was also a great centre for the production of rubber. The old buildings are still standing.
There was a display of traditional medicine which was accompanied by a photograph of a herbalist of Indian ancestry. Julie knew him and said how sorry she was that she couldn’t take me to meet him because he lived in a Pietermarisburg area which is now too dangerous to visit.
The curator came out and I had an interesting conversation with her about the recording of Zulu stories and traditions. Apparently the museum is financed by the municipality and has little money.
He rain had stopped and the sun came out so we went back to the Falls to take a few more photos. After that we went and wandered around a second hand bookshop and an old building that now houses a number of antique shops.
After this we headed back to Pietermaritzburg and had a coffee before going to Wycliffe School. This is a girls boarding school founded early in the last century. The extremely attractive buildings are sited in beautiful grounds which house tennis courts and a huge swimming pool. The inside of the buildings rivals any of the girl’s boarding schools in England. Pupil’s art work of an exceptionally high quality adorned the walls.
The very polite pupils were mainly “white” with a sprinkling of “black” faces. The teachers were all very outgoing and friendly and Julie and I were handed over to the Librarian. She was immediately receptive to the idea of my doing a reading and will be in touch. Many of the girls come from outside South Africa from countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Julie is a delight. She is bright, intelligent and we have much in common. We are planning further outings.
http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html
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