Cover image for Mansa Musa : the lion of Mali
Title:
Mansa Musa : the lion of Mali
Author:
Burns, Khephra.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace & Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Summary:
A fictional account of the nomadic wanderings of the boy who grew up to become Mali's great fourteenth-century leader, Mansa Musa.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 1.0 49785.
ISBN:
9780152003753
Format :
Book

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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Black History
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction On Display
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.B928 MA 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

When an evening celebration in his village is disrupted by the cries of slave raiders, young Kankan Musa runs to find his spear, but in a moment he is taken. Suddenly, the world he has known is gone. Is he to be a slave? Or will destiny carry this son of a proud people to a different future?
Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon capture the grandeur of Africa's ancient empires, lands, and people in stunning paintings as this richly imagined tale of the boyhood of Mansa Musa, one of Mali's most celebrated kings, carries us across the continent on a triumphant journey of self-discovery.


Author Notes

LEO and DIANE DILLON together illustrated more than twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning books for children, including the Caldecott Medal winner Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, a retelling of the opera Aida by Leontyne Price, and their own Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose .


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. Exquisite, richly colored paintings illustrate this ambitious story about the Kingdom of Mali and one of its most notorious rulers. The epic follows the young Kakan from his village through a mystical coming-of-age quest that takes him across the desert, to distant kingdoms and cities, where he conquers demons both physical and spiritual, and finally returns to rule his homeland as a worldly hero. The story touches on discussion-friendly themes such as freedom, courage, self-knowledge, and personal responsibility, but the text's density, the plodding story line, and the stilted prose, which is sprinkled with labored aphorisms, will stop many readers. Luckily, the Dillons' finely detailed paintings, in sizes too small for group viewing, anchor the story and expand the sense of character and action. Whether browsing or making it through to the end, readers will come away with a larger sense of Mali and northern Africa's powerful history and Muslim heritage. An author's note is appended. --Gillian Engberg


Publisher's Weekly Review

Evocative, finely wrought gouache paintings by the Dillons (Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears) provide excellent accompaniment to this colorful introduction to the history of Mali. Burns (Black Stars in Orbit: NASA's African American Astronauts) embarks in 14th-century West Africa, creating a slightly embellished (as per an author's note) account of the mystery and greatness of the Mali kingdom. Employing a combination of mythical elements and historical fact, the author sets in motion a chain of events during which 14-year-old Kankan is kidnapped by slave traders, wanders the desert for six years with a captor/mentor and, after an important revelation, eventually returns to his Mali homeland. Kankan has discovered that he is a descendent of the legendary king Sundiata and is destined to rule his people as Mansa Musa. Though it contains several fascinating episodes, the very lengthy, highly detailed text may be off-putting for the usual picture book audience. In addition, the plot slows and drifts off course as Kankan wanders the desert, and younger readers may have difficulty keeping the names of people and places straight. As a highlight, the illustrations bring alive historic Africa and its people, dressed in elegant, flowing garments, bright gold jewelry and carefully draped turbans. Flashes of purple, yellow, white and turquoise sparkle against a desert background. The book may also be useful as a first introduction to the Muslim faith. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-In what amounts to a bildungsroman, Burns recounts the coming-of-age of Mansa Musa, one of Mali's most celebrated kings. After the death of Sundiata, the kingdom of Mali began to decline. Life, however, is still good in the countryside of the once-great nation. One evening, a shrouded stranger in blue arrives in the small village of Kaba Kangaba. Fascinated by the mysterious visitor, young Kankan Musa joins the rest of his village at a gathering to listen to Tariq al-Aya, a member of the Tuareg tribe of the north. The meeting is disrupted by a slave raid and Kankan is carried off. Thus begins his decade of tutelage under Tariq and his transformation from provincial village boy to king of Mali. Well told, with excellent use of pacing and suspense, this yarn would hold attention on its own, but the breathtaking layout of the book greatly enhances the narrative. Creamy buff paper backs the clear double-column text, embellished with inset borders and small illustrations. Half- to full-page detailed, jewel-toned art in the Dillons' signature style makes this a feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Booktalking Mansa Musa with David Wisniewski's Sundiata (Clarion, 2001) will allow children to access the history of ancient Mali in a way that showcases two very different, but equally effective, storytelling and illustrative styles.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.