Nelson Mandela

Books: Folklore | Folktales

Favorite African Folktales (2002)

Favorite African Folktales (2002)

Favorite African Folktale This is a small but excellent collection of old and new African folktales.

In addition to the stories, the book tells where each tale is from, a little something about the creatures within, and the name of the translator or author of the story, and sometimes a bit about them as well.

All the stories were good, but there were some that I particularly liked.

I loved the story Asmodeus and the Bottler of Djinns. There are plenty of tales about how a demon or devil ends up outsmarted and stuck in a bottle, but there aren't many stories about how the devil gets back out again.

There are other stories that are familiar, with characters and plots that I've read before, but it's always fascinating to see how the same tale is different from culture to culture.

My favorite tale, however, may be the second tale of the book, The Cat Who Came Indoors, which started out familiar but had me laughing at the end. And to a cat person, the tale also seems about right.

I also love the little creature that lives beside, and looks towards, the page numbers throughout this book. I'm not exactly sure what kind of animal it is, but with its fingers, long tail, and beak, I'm sure that it has many interesting stories.

This really is a very good collection, and my only caveat is that, like many collections, not all tales are necessarily appropriate for younger children.

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company