Friday, July 20, 2012

Mee-An and the Magic Serpent by Baba Wague Diakite

This is a charming folktale written by a native of Mali. A beautiful young girl is looking for a perfect man to marry.  She has plenty of suitors, but always finds a flaw.  Finally a serpent magically disguises himself as a perfect man and marries Mee-An.  Luckly, Mee-An's sister knows magic, and she discovers the serpent's plan to fatten up and eat his wife.  The two girls are able to escape on the back of a giant black heron.  The illustrations are also done by Diakite and give an interesting view of the people, animals and landscape of Mali.  I think that picture books can be a wonderful way to teach children about other cultures.  If I were still doing daycare, I would read the book to the children, and then we would look up Mali on the map.  If I wanted to expand the activity, we could look up a native African recipe or food to eat for lunch, and then try to draw a picture in the same style as the ones in the book. (picture book)

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