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Talking Drums: A Selection of Poems from Africa south of the Sahara
Tadjo, Veronique; Veronique Tadjo (illus.) Talking Drums: A Selection of Poems from Africa south of the Sahara. New York: Bloomsbury, 2004. $15.95, ISBN 1-58234-813-8.

Note: In this poetry anthology, poet and artist Veronique Tadjo introduces young people to a range of African poems, some traditional, some modern.(CABA Honor)

_Talking Drum_ is an excellent anthology of poems drawn from across Africa. It is a celebration of nature, beauty, and the universe that Black Africa represents. The strength of this book of poetry lies in its multidisciplinary and multi-thematic configuration. Readability is another plus for this literary piece. The selected poems are simple enough to be appreciated and comprehended by students of upper elementary through senior high schools. The book is inundated with illustrations in almost all of its ninety-some pages. The pictures add color and lucidity to the poems. This means so much when seen through the eyes of the book's younger readers.

Although this is an excellent collection, it falls short of being acknowledged as an outstanding literary piece simply because it is not an original composition. The editor, Veronique Tadjo, a well-celebrated writer and poet in her own right, pulls together works of more than thirty outstanding poets and dozens of sayings from various African traditions but does not include any of her own work. In spite of this shortcoming, I recommend this anthology to schools across the Americas or anywhere the curriculum targets basic knowledge of the African world.

Copyright (c) 2004 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For other uses contact the Reviews editorial staff: hbooks@mail.h-net.msu.edu.


Rating: R Grade: M / H Type: Book

Reviewed by: Michael O. Afoláyan, Southern Illinois

Subject: Africa / Poetry / CABA Honor