Children's author, photographer and writer
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Ifeoma Onyefulu's Books
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Look at this: Clothes
Published Autumn 2012
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Building the city walls
Image by Ifeoma Onyefulu
in the USA
'A beautiful collection of photographs that provides an excellent vehicle to share, learn from and talk about different sorts of garments. ... A perfect non-fiction book for early years settings.'
(School Librarian )
Ifeoma Onyefulu is a Nigerian expatriate living in England who has successfully introduced English-speaking audiences to the range and variety of village life in her homeland through her picture books for young readers.
Illustrated with her own photographs, Onyefulu's books have been praised as useful additions to classroom libraries for the lessons they teach about the universality of some experiences, as well as for offering a rarely seen depiction of African village life. The brightly coloured photographs she includes in books such as A Is for Africa, Grandfather's Work: A Traditional Healer in Nigeria, and A Triangle for Adaora: An African Book of Shapes evoke the important relationships between the people in her stories and also illustrate the customs and realities of everyday life in contemporary Africa.
The first of Onyefulu's concept books, A Is for Africa provides an overview of Nigerian village life while also reviewing the alphabet for young English speakers. Chris Powling, writing in Books for Keeps, compared the visual impact of A Is for Africa to "stepping from a darkened room straight into noon sunshine, so bright and needle-sharp are the author's photographs."
Onyefulu selects traditional, African objects and artifacts to exemplify each letter, observed Roger Sutton, the critic adding in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, that in A Is for Africa such objects "are simply explained and provide good material for a lapsitting visit."
Like A Is for Africa, the counting book Emeka's Gift contains a brightly lit visual tribute to Nigerian village life that some critics have found enchanting. The simple story finds a young boy setting off to buy his grandmother a birthday gift. Along the way to the market Emeka encounters two friends and three women; having reached his destination, he finds four brooms, five hats, and so forth up to ten, but despairs because he does not have enough money to buy any of the items he sees.
He goes to his grandmother and tells her what happened, only to be told that he himself is the best gift she could ever receive. Emeka's Gift was praised as "a wonderful multidimensional story with universal appeal" by Barbara Osborne Williams in School Library Journal.
Ifeoma's name is pronounced "Ee-for-ma Oh-yefulu". Ifeoma was born in Onitsha, Nigeria.
Publisher - Frances Lincoln, 4 Torriano Mews, Torriano Ave., London, NW5 2RZ.
Photographer and author. Caribbean Times, London, England, staff photographer, 1986-87; freelance writer and photographer from 1987.
Biographical detail abstract taken from the on-line encyclopedia