To be honest, before today, I didn’t know exactly where Ghana was located or much about this African nation. I love to read variants of folk and fairy tales and have collected many versions of familiar stories. So, I was thrilled to discover this wonderful book.
The Ghanian Goldilocks.
By Dr. Tamara Pizzoli (author) and Phil Howell (illustrator)
picture book ages 4-8
From the first page of The Ghahaian Goldilocks, I knew I was going to love this book. Right away we learn that the story takes place in the West African city of Accra in a country once known as the Gold Coast but is now known as Ghana.
The story is about an African boy named Kofi who played outside so much that the sun bleached his hair golden, hence the nickname “Goldilocks.” Having unique hair made it difficult for Goldilocks to get away with much but it didn’t stop him from trying. The story follows the original tale in a number of ways but has distinctly Ghanaian flavor. Goldilocks enters an empty house and helps himself to the fufu in the three bowls, sits on carved stools, and helps himself to the items in three closets which include tunics, head wraps, Kente cloth, toys, and musical instruments. Goldilocks decides to try on a few of the things when the family returns! But, there is a surprise and satisfying twist at the end. Kofi/Goldilocks is a curious boy who learns the power and importance of family, community, and friendship. He is an irresistable character and I hope there will be more books featuring him.
This is a perfect Field Trip book. The art is bright and colorful and illustrates homes and people of Ghana. We learn about clothing, food, culture, and traditions. Children love the fact that Goldilocks is a boy and that his skin is brown. This book is enjoyable on its own but it really fun to use as a comparison with other versions of Goldilocks.
I love this illustration of Kofi/Goldilocks in the kitchen with Mama Abena which shows how similar we all are no matter where we live.
Dr. Tamara Pizzoli has written a companion book also illustrated by Phil Howell:
F is for Fufu: An Alphabet Book Based on The Ghanaian Goldilocks
This is an alphabetical guide to accompany The Ghanaian Goldilocks. The rhyming text is simple and the illustrations are wonderful. I would love to hang some of them on a wall. Both these books combine to introduce a country that few Americans know much about.
And, what is Fufu?
It is a food that originated in Ghana made by pounding cassava and unripe plantains.
It looks like it takes a lot of work to make fufu but you can buy it in a package.
I hear it is delicious. Does anyone know of a Ghanaian restaurant in California?