Monday, June 11, 2012

Recommended Picture Book: Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

Title: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

Author: John Steptol

Illustrator: John Steptol

Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books; March 31, 1987

Suitable for: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: Folktale, Places & Culture: Africa, Honesty, Kindness, Good Character


A Long Time Ago, in a certain place in Africa, a small village lay across a fiver and half a day’s journey from a city where a great king lived. A man named Mufaro lived in this village with his two daughters, who were called Manyara and Nyasha. Everyone agreed that Manyara and Nyasha were very beautiful.

Book Summary:

Both of Mufaro's daughters are beautiful but one is bad tempered and one is kind. When the king of the land asks the daughters to appear before him so he can choose a queen, the prideful, bad tempered daughter decides to set out in the night so she can get there first. Along the path are many opportunities to show one's true character. The kind daughter who follows the same path the next day makes different decisions - with different results and a surprising ending!

Links to resources:

Create a story map

Scholastic Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan with before and after activities

Discussion points at Learning to Give
Why I like this book:

This is another book from my childhood. What stood out the most for me were the illustrations and how they captured the imagination and transported me to Mufaro’s village somewhere in Africa. Naturally, Nyasha was my favorite character; she was sweet, kind (she let her sister live in the palace with her) and so pretty AND she marries the king in the end! Who does not like happy endings!?! :D

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