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From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom is a short picture book that includes some sayings/proverbs/aphorisms from people groups on the African continent. As the foreword notes, since aphorisms are universal, the ones found in one region are often similar to those found in other parts of the world, but each is a unique attempt to distill life experience into a short proverb that can communicate wisdom.
Each of the fifteen sayings are illustrated by different artists -- most of whom are from African countries or Canada. The variety of styles and color schemes helps illustrate the diversity of oral cultures that these traditional sayings originate from. Each one also includes a general source (at least to the extent that this can be known), and a brief explanation of the saying.
I like how some of these sayings are familiar ("Many hands make light work"), while others seem more unique ("I pointed out to you the stars, but all you saw was the tip of my finger"). There is also a good mix of proverbs that celebrate community, along with others that encourage independence and creativity.
(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
Author: Eric Walters
Illustrators: Many! Each illustrator is identified with a brief bio at the end of the book.
Content Advisory: None
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