Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Review: Tippi - My Book of Africa

I bought Tippi: My Book of Africa for the photos. Tippi's parents, both photographers who worked in Africa for a period, took the opportunity to shoot photographs of her playing in the wilderness, with animals, and with natives.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Bowen's suddenly decided that he was interested in Africa. While the BBC series (impressively shot and presented) was fun for him, the Tippi's book was much more fascinating for him: for one thing, it was written by a 10 year old, and the photographs (many of which were staged or set in reserves with tame animals) more intimate. So I've been asked to read the book over and over again for him.

The book's voice seems very authentic. Life, philosophy, racism, and fear are all talked about from a ten year old's point of view and consciousness. There would be wild sweeping pronouncements followed by "I don't know." It's very rambling, and frequently repetitive. But Bowen can't get enough of it and so I'm forced to read it over and over again.

Because of the photographs, it's not an ideal bed-time read. You really should have good lighting to see the photos properly. On the other hand, as an authentic voice and as exposure to your child as an example of, "Yes, you can write a book too." It's pretty ideal.


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