Think back to the last couple of big stories you heard about Africa on the news. For many people, at least one of those stories involved poverty, violence, disease, or corruption. Even many fantasy books set in Africa are usually tied to a serious topic, such as a great struggle that was overcome. Now, do these things exist in Africa? Yes. Is life hard in many parts of Africa? Yes. But that’s not all that exists. There is also a lot of joy, laughter, development, creativity, entrepreneurship, and much more. But aside from movies like Black Panther, we don’t often get to see those other elements.
You see, I believe that stories, even in kid’s books, are powerful. They can shape how others perceive a group of people, and in many cases, how those people perceive themselves. I also believe that there are a lot of beautiful and interesting aspects of African culture and legends that people from all over the world can appreciate. And when I noticed how hard it was to find books that incorporated African culture in a light-hearted and fun way, I decided to write one. But I had three requirements for the book:
1) It had to be a children’s book that incorporated all the things I love reading in books – magic, adventure, and the exploration of different lands and cultures;
2) It had to be a book that would entertain but also teach kids life lessons;
3) It had to feature an African role model in such a position that Africans are not often seen playing in books and movies.
My book, Feyi Fay, is an illustrated chapter book for kids aged 6 to 12. It’s about African fairy-like creatures (called Kuzoolies) who travel the world with the help of a magical app to help the children of the world with their everyday problems – bullying, making friends, monsters, anything! The book is in black and white, but color versions of some of the illustrations from books 1 and 2 are shown below. I hope you enjoy it.
More info: linktr.ee
Kuzoolies are fairy-like African creatures who travel the world answering the call of children who need help with a problem.
Kuzoolies don’t live on the ground like you and me, they live on floating islands behind the clouds.
Their homes are treehouses with colorful patterns on the walls. And at night, some of the leaves on the trees glow like little lanterns dangling from the branches.
When a child needs help with a problem, they can send a message using a magical app that only kids can see. A Kuzooly will get the message and rush to their aid as soon as they can.
In book 1, Feyi (a special Kuzooly with blue wings) travels to England to help a boy with an interesting case.
The little boy heard an old Nigerian legend about a mean woman called Madam Koi Koi who wears red shoes and takes kids to a place with no fun. He believes the legend to be true!
Feyi and the boy go on a magical adventure to reveal the identity of Madam Koi Koi and stop her from carrying out her evil plan. Along the way, they shrink down as tiny as ants.
Shrinking to the size of an ant is no match for a magic cookie though. They grow back to normal and solve the case of the Mysterious Madam Koi Koi.
Next, Feyi goes to Costa Rica after a Captain Nosa figurine goes missing.
Captain Nosa is an African superhero. He has the ability to make people exceedingly smart or dumb in an instant, which proves to be an interesting power to have in sticky situations. He will have his own spin-off books soon.
Another magical adventure ensues as Feyi and the boy she’s helping search for the Captain Nosa figurine. Along the way, they get turned into bees! But everything turns out fine.
With the help of an African folktale about a pigeon and a tortoise, Feyi teaches the kids involved a lesson about consideration for others, kindness, and forgiveness.
Meanwhile, on the Kuzooly islands, the Kuzoolies are on their way to visit a giant the call Old Man Uche. The strength of Old Man Uche’s voice can blow the little Kuzoolies away, and his roar sounds like thunder to humans on the ground.
Old Man Uche has in his possession a magical object that can change the lives of the Kuzoolies as they know it.
This magical object was created by the most powerful of all Kuzoolies. They call her Elder Toyosi.
All the Kuzoolies start to gather round to find out what this new magical object can do.
The female Kuzoolies bend their knees to the ground, and the male Kuzoolies lay flat on the ground. That is how they show their respect for older Kuzoolies such as Elder Toyosi.
The power of the new magical object is revealed.
The revelation is shocking. The magical object will change the lives of both Kuzoolies and human children in every country across the world forever!
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