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Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale (1987)

von John Steptoe

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3,1472013,283 (4.24)13
Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.
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Mufaro's daughters, Manyara and Nyasha, are both strong and smart and brave, but Manyara is jealous of Nyasha, who is kind to everyone, and whom Manyara suspects their father loves best. (Mufaro is oblivious.) When the king announces that he is ready to choose a bride from among the daughters of the kingdom, Manyara sneaks away to be the first one to arrive, but on her way is is unkind to those she encounters; Nyasha, who follows the next morning, is kind to all, and her kindness is rewarded. The illustrations are truly outstanding, with characters, flora, fauna, and setting given equal and lavish attention.

Inspired by a folktale collected by G.M. Theal in Kaffir Folktales (1895). Names of characters are from the Shona language; definitions and pronunciations are included.

See also: The Talking Eggs by Robert San Souci, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 7, 2021 |
This book has everything wonderful a book should have: an inspiring story and stunningly beautiful illustrations. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is a classic treasure of traditional literature. Through this tale of two sisters Manyara and Nyasha, Mufaro’s beautiful daughters. These sisters while both beautiful on the outside are very different on the inside, Manyara a mean and prideful sister and Nyasha, kind and humble. Their father calls them to journey through the land to the King in hopes of becoming his bride. They are faced with challenges along the way and the sisters respond to these challenges in different ways leading only one to the King.

This remarkable tale and its beautiful illustrations create a wonderful masterpiece for all to enjoy. This multicultural book teaches of the importance of kindness and humility but also on being brave while showing students a piece of another culture and language. This would be a great addition to any school classroom and library. This book would add depth to any study of fairy tales or folktale, on African culture, or even a study or discussion on important character traits. This book would also be great to use to compare and contrast other traditional literature.
  Verity2 | Jul 14, 2021 |
As a new grandmother, I’ve been searching for more diverse children’s books to add to my library, and I ran across Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters at the library sale a while back. I bought it and I’m so glad I did. It’s a lovely Cinderella-esque story of a man named Mufaro who lives in an African village and has two beautiful daughters, Manyara and Nyasha. Manyara is selfish and cruel, while Nyasha is always sweet and kind to humans and animals alike. One day, a messenger arrives from the city, saying that the king is searching for a wife and he’s invited all the most beautiful and worthy daughters in the land to appear before him. Wanting to be the first to arrive, Manyara sneaks out ahead of everyone else, but fails to heed the warnings of the people she meets along the way. Meanwhile Nyasha leaves with everyone else the next morning and when she arrives a surprise awaits her.

As a lover of all things fairy tale, I very much enjoyed this story. It’s everything I expect a fairy tale to be, including the HEA, just with an African backdrop and characters. According to the author’s note inside, the story was inspired by an African folktale that was published in the late 19th century, while the characters names are taken from the Shona language. The illustrations are quite beautiful, detailed, and realistic, and again, according to the note, the settings were inspired by the ruins of an ancient city in Zimbabwe, as well as the plants and animals of the region. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters was a Caldecott Honor Book and also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for its illustrations, and I can definitely see why. In addition to the wonderful illustrations and the fairy tale quality of the story, I also very much appreciated the message about true beauty having more to do with a kindness of the heart and that pride and selfishness have consequences. The book is a keeper for me, and with this being my first read by the late John Steptoe, I’ll certainly be checking out his other work. ( )
  mom2lnb | Sep 6, 2020 |
Mufaro's two daughters react in different ways to the King's search for a wife - one is aggressive and selfish, the other kind and dignified. The king disguises himself to learn the true nature of both the girls and chooses Nyasha, the kind and generous daughter, to be the queen.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Aug 15, 2020 |
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» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (3 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
John SteptoeHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Burton, LeVarErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Kohen, ClaritaÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Miles, RobinErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Phylicia RashadErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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A long time ago, in a certain place in Africa, a small village lay across a river and half a day's journey from a city where a great king lived.
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Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.

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