National Museum of African Art to host 21st Annual Children’s Africana Awards and Book Festival this Saturday (Nov 9, 2013)

childrens-africana-awards-2013On Saturday , November 9, 0213, the National Museum of Art (Smithsonian) will host its 21st Annual Children’s Africana Awards and Book festival.

Established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association, The Children’s Africana Awards was set up to recognize the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S.

This year’s festival will include various art-based activities including face painting, a reading challenge, workshops and storytelling.

The event will also recognize ‘a best-books list with seven titles in two categories’. They are as follows:

Best Books for Young Children

When I Get OlderK’Naan Sol Guy, co-authors, and Rudy Gutierrez, illustrations

Inspired by the internationally known Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer and songwriter K’Naan, this is the story behind “Wavin’ Flag,” the song that became the anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with 22 versions and a No.1 hit in 19 countries.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind—William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, authors, and Elizabeth Zunon, illustrations

When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone’s crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library where he figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books—Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya, text and illustrations

Hands Around the Library describes how Egypt’s students, librarians and demonstrators gathered around the Library of Alexandria in January 2011 amidst turmoil to protect the building that stood as a representation of freedom. In that moment, the people of Egypt revealed how the love of books and libraries can unite a country, even one in turmoil.

The Matatu—Eric Walters, author, and Eva Campbell, illustrations

A young Kenyan boy takes a ride on the matatu bus with his grandfather for his fifth birthday. Along the way his grandfather tells the story of why dogs chase the bus, goats run from it and sheep pay no attention to it. Eric Walters is the bestselling author of more than 70 books. The Matatu was inspired by a story told to him by Ruth Kyatha while he was on one of his yearly trips to Kenya.

Ostrich and Lark—Marilyn Nelson, text, and the Kuru Art Project, illustrations

The book looks at how Ostrich and Lark spend their days on the grasslands of southern Africa surrounded by a chorus of birdsong. From his perch in a tree, Lark joins the chorus, while below Ostrich is silent. Then comes the joyful day when Ostrich finds his voice. This picture book about an unlikely friendship is the result of collaboration between the award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson and the San artists of Botswana.

Best Books for Older Readers

Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History—Trevor Getz and Liza Clarke, illustrations

“Am I free?”—The book tells of the compelling courtroom drama of a young woman who demanded this question in West Africa in 1876. Seized from her family as a teenager, forced to carry heavy loads and sold into domestic slavery, Abina wanted to have control over her own life again.

Far from Home—Na’ima B. Robert, author

Far from Home is set in Zimbabwe, introduces two families’ struggles, under white political rule and ending under black rule, 20 years after independence. Roberts provides a very human face to the lives of her protagonists, giving the reader insight into the emotional, personal feelings of the mothers, fathers, children and extended families involved.

There will be a chance to meet with the authors and get your personal copies of each book signed during the event.

This event is free and open to the public and will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To learn more, visit:

Source: Smithsonian Newsdesk

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