Chipo and the Bird on the Hill
Illustrated by Asare. Accra, Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2002. 36 p. ISBN 9988-550-44-8. Ages 8 and up.
Publisher: Sub-Saharan Publishers
History comes to life in the hands of this skilled storyteller. Set in the glorious days of the walls and enclosures now known as Great Zimbabwe, this is a story of inquisitive children in an ancient African kingdom. The boy Damdudzo and the Princess Chipo climb through the royal enclosures in order to see the rock formation that inspired the Zimbabwe bird carvings. Although the boy and girl involved are just exploring, and the young modern reader is just enjoying an adventure, adults will appreciate the deftness with which the old traditions of weaving and iron-making and sacrificial customs are incorporated into the story. The warm pink ochre of the rock formations and the walls of Great Zimbabwe in Asare’s paintings show careful research.
This book was the result of Asare’s visit to Zimbabwe on the invitation of Zimbabwe Publishing House. This is a good example of cooperation between African publishing houses for the benefit of children.