|School boys playing football (Zimbabwe)|
Photo Credit: Dylan Thomas/UKAid
|Hamer tribe, bull jumping (Ethiopia)|
Photo Credit: Achilli Family
This premise also had me worried that by studying one country, the girls would be led to the (rather common) assumption that all of Africa is represented by this country. Which is part of the reason why I deviated this year and chose a region, but more on that later. Before wandering off to our region, we took some time to learn more about, and note the differences that abound within the great continent of Africa.
|Call to prayer (Morocco)|
Photo Credit: Dominik Goleni
The Continent of Africa
- There are 54 countries
- There is a population of over 1 billion, and is the 2nd most populous continent
- There are over 1000 spoken languages
- It is three times the size of the United States - in fact, you could fit the land of the U.S, China, Japan and Europe, and still have room to play.
- Before being colonized, Africa had up to 10,000 different states and autonomous tribes with distinct languages and customs
- Across the continent, there are deserts, grasslands, tropical rainforests, savannah and the Mediterranean.
Africa Is Not A Country by Margy Burns Knight (Affiliate Link)
Each page of the book focuses on one country with an illustrated short narrative of every day life children may experience within their country, with nearly 30 countries represented. It is a great, simple overview of the diversity found within Africa. There are children in cities, in parks, working farms, at the market, in the desert. There are scenes of every day life such as playing games, going to school, spending time with family. There is even a mention of refugee children in Rwanda, and Lesotho is illustrated in snow covered mountains, a rather unexpected scene. The book opens with a map of Africa and a few geographical facts, and ends with short facts about all 53 countries (at time of publishing) and an illustration of all of their flags.
We enjoyed this book, and any country that struck Elle's fancy, we looked up to get a better idea. We also checked out these few, though varied, countries at National Geographic for Kids.
Now that we've seen a little bit of the variety Africa and its many countries has to offer, we head over to the region of West Africa to learn about the diversity offered by its countries.
Photo Credit: Daniel Tiveau for CIFOR
You can find all of our posts with children's books about West Africa here.