Stories Gogo Told Me, Lisa Grainger

Stories Gogo Told Me book blurb:

There is a storyteller in almost every village in Africa. Telling stories is not her official job. By day she may be a Gogo, a teacher, a farmer or a seamstress. But at night, round the fire, she will sit surrounded by young children, old friends, neighbours and travellers. She will tell of how it was in the olden days, when the earth was young, when man was a hunter-gatherer, and when the animals roamed wild throughout the continent.
 
The author spent several months hiking around the villages, towns, farms and deserts of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa, asking people who can’t read or write to tell her their favourite stories. The result is this children’s treasury of legends and fables, of witchdoctors and kingdoms of strange creatures and talking animals, which celebrates Africa and its ancient storytelling culture.
Stories Gogo Told Me
Stories Gogo Told Me

I requested this book to review as I wanted to be able to give it to my nieces. They were born in South Africa but left when they were very young to live in Australia. I thought it would be nice for them to have some connection to the land of their birth and to read stories about the local culture of Southern Africa. I chose to read the book while walking on the elliptical at gym and I must say I was very disappointed. I had read a story about why hippos live in water in A Hippo Love Story and in this book the same tale was told, but it was so lucklustre. Also, there were many stories covering the same theme and I think they could have been better grouped together.

When I went to see my nieces I gave them the book and Sasha asked me to read them a story straight away. Sasha is 9 and Nadia 5 and I let them choose the stories I read to them over the course of the 4 days we spent together. This is when the book came alive. Reading the fables out loud give them the life they need. The children loved the stories and the morals and so if you do buy this book please make sure you read it to your children.

First published in South Africa by Penguin Books in 2015

ISBN 978-1-48590-003-0

Paperback – 191 pages

Disclosure: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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4 thoughts on “Stories Gogo Told Me, Lisa Grainger

  1. Looks like a gorgeous book Tandy. Love the story behind the story.

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    1. I love traditional fables Jem 🙂

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  2. I bet my grandsons would love this book, they are 6 and 10. Great review, Tandy.
    cheri sharing the blog ♥ Now in Oregon and Chive Blossom VinegarMy Profile

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    1. I am sure they would Cheri 🙂

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