Children's author, photographer and writer
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Ifeoma Onyefulu's Books
around the world
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Ifeoma is a past award winner - read more...
The Girl Who Married a Ghost
and other stories
Published March 2010
''The collection is wide and varied with stories that brilliantly evoke Nigeria and the preoccupations of its people. A lively exuberant work that lends itself perfectly to reading aloud''. --The Bookseller
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Building the city walls
Image by Ifeoma Onyefulu
in the USA
Author: Ifeoma Onyefulu
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Reviewed by: Yvonne Coppard
Set in Ethiopia, the appealing photographs and minimal text follow young Helen Buli’s search for new shoes, for her auntie’s wedding. Clues to the material poverty of a third world country are there in the background of the pictures, but Helen and her family are normal Ethiopians going about their business and celebrating a family occasion. The excitement of new shoes is common to children in every shoe-wearing culture; for the Western child, the pictures of Helen and her mother cruising through the vibrant African market until they find the shoe stalls will be appealing. Shoes are piled into a chaotic jumble of pyramids, so unlike the pristine shoe-shop experience here in the UK – and yet the frustration of a little girl who cannot find shoes she likes will instantly strike a chord. We celebrate with Helen when she finally discovers the perfect shoes, and takes them home to show off to her father.
There’s little to this story, but that is its point: we are given a glimpse into a life lived in a far distant country with a very different culture, and yet we instantly recognize the familiarity of the experience. It is refreshing to see positive images of life in Africa, for once: fundraising campaigns and news stories have to show us unrelenting misery and despair, apparently, or we will refuse to part with our pennies to help. It would be good to see more books like this, that show just how similar we humans are, and what a huge influence the lottery of our births has on our lives.
Text from an article in Armadillo Magazine. Read more here...
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A review by Gill Roberts