Stories Gogo Told Me is a collection of local tales, collected by Lisa Grainger.
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 witch doctors and kingdoms of strange creatures and talking animals, which celebrates Africa and its ancient storytelling culture.
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. The book left me feeling 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 lacklustre. Also, there were many stories covering the same theme and I think they could have been better grouped together.
Stories Gogo Told Me
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.
Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.
Take a look at what was previously posted on Lavender and Lime on May 29:
- one year ago – Out And About
- two years ago – Popcorn
- three years ago – Activities At Grootbos
- four years ago – Theme Change
- five years ago – Friday’s Food Quiz
- six years ago – Friday’s Food Quiz