Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations by Bathseba Opini and Richard B. Lee is an overview of the interesting, useful, lively and even fun innovations developed by Africans, ranging from aloe vera to the xylophone. The book is part of the We Thought Of It series and has been nominated for a Cybils award in the MG/YA nonfiction category.
The authors, who are both affiliated with the University of Toronto, describe inventions in fields such as the arts and music, agriculture, architecture, communication, metalwork, medicine, hunting and several others. Several of the innovations that could be mistaken for simply musical instruments are actually used as forms of communication. It was particularly fascinating to see what might be thought of as traditional arts with a distinctly modern twist, for example a man following animals tracks using a modern digital camera to take a photograph of them.
The book is illustrated with vibrant color photographs, as well as detailed maps.
Check out the lively book trailer:
Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations is a must to accompany a unit on Africa for a range of age groups, especially accompanied by some hands-on art and craft activities. It is a 2011 Skipping Stones Honor Book and has received a Silver Birch Award nomination.
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Annick Press (February 17, 2011)
Other books from Annick Press:
Book was provided for Cybils review by the publisher.