The New Gong
Launches Children's

The Tortoise and Other Animals by Chuks L.
is the first of a children's series launched
by The New Gong Publishers to help combat the
dearth of the African perspective in the stories to
which children, our children, are exposed in their
early formative years.

Emele, the author of the three stories in this
collection, recalls growing up as a child reading
Jack and Jill went up the hill at school, and going
home to listen to folktales from his mother at
night. He had gained from the exposure to the two
streams and now realizes that it has become a
rare privilege for many of the young people of
today, who didn’t have the luck to inhabit two
worlds, the Western European and the African,
like he did.

As Westernization continues its march, backed
by imperial imperatives, the African viewpoint is
often lost, whatever its merits.

In this book targeted at children of nursery and
primary school age, Emele recalls some of the
folktales he heard from his mother as retained in
his memory. These traditional Igbo folktales do
have varying forms and narratives, and no one
can necessarily be said to be the authentic, final
version given the public nature of the art, by which
it changes form and content depending on the
milieu.  What Emele has done in this first
installment of The New Gong’s Children’s Series,
is to render as best as he can in English, the
folktales he heard in his native Igbo as a child.

In its bid to help increase the reading list of
children’s books with the African perspective, The
New Gong is seeking more Chuks Emele’s out
there.  The intention is to reflect the full breadth
and range of African story telling aimed at
children, in all their variety and at their didactic

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