Genre: Friendship / Kindness / Family / Manners
Year Published: 1987
Year Read: 2010
John Steptoe has done a magnificent job at both illustrating and writing this book. John Steptoe effectively retells this ancient African folktale with such tenderness that children will easily get the message about how true kindness towards others will bring the greatest rewards and how greed will bring about the downfall of a person with an extremely proud heart. John Steptoe’s illustrations are extremely beautiful as he makes the characters look extremely realistic and colorful. The highlighted images in this book are the images of the forest itself as the forest looks eerie at night since the branches of the trees are shadowed in a creepy way and when the forest is shown during the day, then the forest looks tranquil and beautiful as you can see various flowers blooming all over the pages of the forest.
“Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” is great hit for children who love African folktales and will be a favorite for the whole family to enjoy for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some African names like “Manyara” and “Nyasha” that might be difficult for smaller children to pronounce.
*Winner: 1988 Caldecott Honor
*Winner: 1988 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator