African Proverbs for All Ages
collected by Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Nelda LaTeef ill by Nelda LaTeef
The vibrant and expansive legacy of African literature is beginning to be recognized and celebrated. Case in
point: anthropologist and educator Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole collaborated with author and illustrator Nelda LaTeef for this collection of African Proverbs for All Ages.
The compilation is organized thematically. A single painting with four accompanying proverbs illustrates such concepts as education, relationships, happiness, knowledge, experience, home, and family.
Book design allows readers to consider a general concept from several points of view. A map helps readers identify each proverb's country of origin.
LaTeef's detailed illustrations of scenes from nature and village life employ a colorful palette. Faces and body language reflect joy, determination, cooperation, and respect.
Whether you are young or old, proverbs can open your mind to a whole new way of seeing the world. We underestimate children when we assume they are incapable of understanding metaphor and deeper meaning. There are multiple ways that children learn, but for each method by which they learn, they need their imagination engaged and their visual sensibilities ignited. And as adults, we underestimate ourselves when we allow our lives to be about practical matters only. Proverbs can stir our soul and spark our imagination. --Johnnetta Betsch Cole