Today I read a book to my son, Julian, (6 years old), called Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi River written by Kunle Oguneye and illustrated by Bruce McCorkindale.
The author was born and raised in Nigeria but has lived in the United States for the past thirteen years. He gave up a career in technology to pursue his love of story telling.
This African folktale is one native to the country of Zambia and is similar in some ways to the story of The Good Samaritan from the Bible. Sikulu is a spider and Harambe is a hippo. An old woman who finds herself in a difficult situation, asks many of the animals for help but everyone finds an excuse not to help her. It is Sikulu and Harambe who come to her rescue.
Much like Aesop’s fables, there is a moral to the story, and not only that but the book is full of interesting information on the culture and language as well.
Julian really enjoyed the colorful friendly characters and he fully understood the moral of the story.
This evening he was looking for a lost toy and he asked all of his family members to help. His brother Nick said, “Not right now. I’m watching TV.” I said, “Hold on, honey. I’m busy.” Daddy was occupied, too. Julian put his hands on his hips and said, “Mommy, remember the book. You’re all acting like the bad animals.”
Duly chastised, I went off to help him find the toy, and I’m proud of him for reminding me of the important lesson learned in the book.