Guest Post by Atinuke, author of the Anna Hibiscus series of picture books, writing about her experience of a vast and diverse continent.
Since I was a little girl growing up in Nigeria I have been excited and inspired by the continent of Africa. I love the richness of my home continent. The colours, the heat, the cloth, the laughter, the food, the landscapes, the animals, and most of the diversity.
Africa is one continent, but it is also tens of countries, hundreds of landscapes, thousands of languages, hundreds of thousands of species, millions of cars, and a billion people. How awesome is that!
If you thought Africa was one place – think again! Africa is a million places. It is cities and deserts. It is beaches and slums. It is hippos and hip-hop. It is traffic jams and forests. It is football and Ferraris. It is zebras and offices. It is film industry and street hawkers. And much much more!
I love the mix of the modern and traditional. Seeing a fisherman throw a net from a canoe right in front of a skyscraper made of glass and steel thrills me! I love our rich cultural heritages and I love the innovations we are bringing to the world, in banking and biology and robotics.
In Africa, Amazing Africa children will be able to easily see how different our African countries are. They will get a sense of how many languages we speak, and get as excited about our new technologies as about our amazing animals. This book will give children a sense of how precious our cultures and traditions are – some are endangered as much as our incredible animals and awesome landscapes.
I wrote this book to share some of the most exciting things I know and love about my home continent, but while writing it I discovered lots more. I could have written a million books in the end!
Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country by Atinuke, illustrated by Mouni Feddag, ISBN 9781406376586 (Walker Books) £14.99
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.