Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Katrina Tchana
Illustrator: Trina Zachary Hyman
Publisher: Holiday House
Although she is the child of simple farmers, Ma’anta’s wisdom is unlike anything the villagers have ever seen. Speaking all of the languages of the seven villages as well as that of the animals, she is even smarter than the king. Intimidated by her brilliance, he attempts to kill her and exploit her talents; however, Ma’anta proves her wisdom and skill to be more powerful than even the authority of the king.
An adaptation of the traditional oral legend from Cameroon, the author transforms this story to be about this little girl’s heroism. A timely adaptation, little girls will be inspired by her cleverness and perhaps see femininity in a new light. Ma’anta’s epic and amazing adventures are accompanied by beautiful acrylic paintings that perfectly capture her bold spirit and the vibrant landscapes and people of Africa. Overall, this is a beautiful and inspiring book and a wonderful example of multicultural folklore.
*Contains mild violence.