Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An African Princess by Lyra Edmonds. Illustrated by Anne Wilson

An African Princess by Lyra Edmonds

Working as a Librarian at several locations in the Carnegie Library system of Pittsburgh is rewarding because I am able to meet new faces and assist them with all of their library needs from selecting that special children's book to the latest New York Times best sellers.

A young mother recently returned the colorful, eye-catching "An African Princess" children's book written by Lyra Edmonds and illustrated by Anne Wilson and I am thoroughly enjoying this lovely story.

An African Princess book is based on the life of the author Lyra Edmonds. In the story, Lyra's mother tells her that she is descended from a princess captured in Africa and taken to the Caribbean to live. Lyra tells he classmates at school that she is an African princess and they poke fun at her saying, "You, an African princess, Don't be silly! Where's your palace?"

Lyra starts to doubt that she is a princess by saying, "There are not many African princesses who live on the tenth floor and have freckles like me."

Her mother reassures her that she is a princess and surprises her by showing her tickets and elling her that they are going on a trip to see her "African princess, Taunte May."

Lyra shows her classmates where she is going and makes a calendar with her father and marks off each day until she leaves for her trip to see Taunte May!

The day arrives and she exits the plane to a "hot, wet world, full of banana trees and hummingbirds." Lyra and her parents encounter a man singing out loud "as he chip-chops a small hole in a coconut." He tells Lyra," Drink fresh coconut to make you strong like a lion."

Lyra and her parents continue on their way to find Taunte May. Lyra thinks that she hears the monkeys giggle and say,"We know her. She's an African princess, tee hee."

They enter Taunte May's house where she tells Lyra of "princesses from long ago and princesses around whe world, who are all part of her big family tree."

As they leave, Taunte May whispers in Lyra's ear to "Remember to be proud of who you are!" In return, Lyra "nods and smiles her happiest princess smile."

Lyra returns home a more confident "African  princess!"

What a great story. Every little girl and especially girls of color should read this book. Every young girl dreams of being a princess one day. They should see princesses of color too! There are so few children's books depicting princesses of color that I would recommend this book for the children's collection in every library... whether it is  public ... school... or home!!!!!!!

The story is easy to read and understand. The pictures are very colorful and creatively drawn and painted!

This story is a colorful, magic, wonderland!

Until the next time...


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