Picture Books

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Diagne, Mame Fatou

La Fille du pharaon noir / Doomi firawna bu ñuul bi

The Black Pharaoh’s Daughter

Illustrated by Svetlana Amégankpoé. Translated into Wolof by Mame Daour Wade. Dakar, Senegal: BLD, 2000. 18 p. Ages 10 and up.

Language: French-Wolof (Bilingual)

Publisher: Bibliothèque-Lecture-Développement (BLD)

Princess Thiaa is of marriageable age, and after a contest with several suitors, Prince Nil is chosen. However, to marry the beautiful princess, Nil is obliged to leave frequently his riverbed, thus bringing drought and misfortune all over the country. In the end, the princess and Nil seek the help of God Hapy, and the god finds a way for the two lovers to stay together.

The bilingual text, printed in two columns (one in French, one in Wolof), is clear and simple, with alternating dialogue and narrative. The illustrations are remarkable, depicting in soft colours the great beauty of the physical form, architectural details, and rich costumes of Egypt’s civilisation during the XI and XII dynasties.
Svetlana Amégankpoé is a skilled and talented illustrator who lives in Mali. Her pictures for La légende du Ouagadou Bida (The Legend of Ouagadou Bida; Bamako: Donniya, 1999) are as magnificent as they are here.


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