Our Story Starts in Africa (Hardcover)
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Award-winning writer Patrice Lawrence’s picture book Our Story Starts in Africa is a sensitively told story of Black history from its very ancient origins to its dynamic future, vibrantly illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales.
* “An informative, visually rich picture book that personalizes African history and entices readers to learn more.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
When Paloma goes to visit her family in Trinidad, she doesn’t feel that she fits in. But Tante Janet has a story to tell her: An ancient story of warrior queens and talking drums, of treasures and tales that span thousands of years . . . a story that Paloma shares in, because her story, too, starts in Africa.
Join Tante and her inquisitive niece as they share the story of how her family came to the Caribbean, through the dark days of colonization and enslavement, to the emergence of a thriving, contemporary community of many faces, places, and successes.
All too often, children’s books dealing with “Africa” are reductive, with little mention or explanation of modern Africa and too much focus on traditional costume, dancing, and animals. Our Story Starts in Africa offers a new approach to caregivers wanting to talk about Black history and Blackness from its very origins, sensitively told and vibrantly illustrated.
About the Author
Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer. Her debut YA novel, Orangeboy, won the Bookseller YA Prize and the Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award. Lawrence was born in Brighton, UK, raised in an Italian-Trinidadian family in mid-Sussex, and now lives on the south coast of England. Jeanetta Gonzales is a Los Angeles–based designer and illustrator. She describes herself as a free-spirited artist who loves nature. For her, the imperfect is beautiful. Using a combination of paint, inks, and digital illustration, Gonzales evokes happiness, energy, inspiration, and positivity through her love of drawing plants, women, flowers, and lettering phrases.
"An informative, visually rich picture book that personalizes African history and entices readers to learn more." —Kirkus Reviews
"Lawrence does a fantastic job of blending a fiction story with nonfiction facts for children, gently introducing lessons on colonialism, slavery, and cultural pride. The illustrations’ vivid colors bring the island setting to life, while sepia tones define the historic scenes from Tante Janet’s story."—Booklist