Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Children's Books about Cote d'Ivoire | World Cup for Kids Project

This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids Project. Each time Cote d'Ivoire plays, I will be posting about something you can do with your kids to get to know the Ivorian culture. You can follow along with each country playing in the World Cup herefind our introduction and schedule here.

One of our favorite ways of learning about a culture is through books. Picture books appeal to a wide range of ages, and are great for reading together.

This list of books is short - I could only find two children's fiction books specifically about Cote d'Ivoire, though there are more about general West African folktales (for a later post). Some of these books are no longer in print, but you might be able to find them at your local library (like we did) and I've linked those to Better World Books, a site that sells second hand books (I am not affiliated with them).

Our World Cup posts about Cote d'Ivoire include interesting facts about the country as well as a recipe for a popular drink kids enjoy, here, and a craft making Senufo animal art here.

I Come From Ivory Coast by Valerie Weber is told from the view point of a child who has immigrated from Cote d'Ivoire to the United States. The child describes aspects of life in Cote d'Ivoire and how they differ from life in the US, including school, food and fun. It's interesting to read the differences, and a great way to get kids to relate. 

Lord of the Dance: An African Retelling by Veronique Tadjo. Illustrated in the style of Senufo art, the author took an English hymn and rewrote it as a poem to tell the story of a mask used by the Senufo people, an ethnic group in Cote d'Ivoire. There's an endnote that explains the role of masks in the Senufo culture, and it might be worth reading that first. We loved seeing the Senufo art used in this book. 

Akissi: Feline Invasion by Marguerite Abouet is a fun 48 page comic book about the day to day life of Akissi, a spunky and wildly mischievous girl, living in a town in Cote d'Ivoire. Frankly, the stories range from humorous to shocking and/or gross :) I would recommend this book to kids who aren't likely to get any ideas in their heads - not that they would be easy to replicate (not too many pet monkeys around here!). One of the "tamer" chapters includes the reality of having a tapeworm come out of her nose and chasing her brother with it. 

Don't forget to find out about what other bloggers and families are doing to follow along with the World Cup and learning about different cultures. I've outlined how it works in my introduction and will be featuring other posts on our Facebook page.

You can find all of our posts with children's books about West Africa here.

You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:
Books are a wonderful way to experience new worlds and ideas. Our house is filled with books, most of which are borrowed from our public library. Public libraries are an incredible resource, making books accessible to everyone, and we highly encourage everyone to discover theirs. If you are hoping to build your own home library, I've made it easy by linking book titles to Amazon.com. Please note that I have become affiliated with them, which means that if you make a purchase, you are also supporting this website. 


  1. It's times like this I wish we actually cared at all about sports, because there's some fun stuff you can do with it, but then there'd be all that other time of boring watching sports.

    1. I've gotta say, I haven't watched too much of it... :) We made a bet for chocolate on "our teams" in our house to encourage actually watching the cup, and for the first time in my life, I have sat down and watched televised sport, and you know, even got excited during some goals! Though I can't honestly say my attention was captured for the full 90 minutes...


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