Our Favorite Nigerian Storybooks

One of our favourite things to do is compile different booklists for kids. We have created several booklists from books on African history and culture, books representing each African country, books based on African heroes, kids books on African folklore, African culture picture books, bilingual African kids books, and Kenyan Storybooks.

In this post, we are focusing on children’s books from Nigeria. These books can be a great way of exploring Nigerian culture, folklore, and history kids.

Join us as we look at some of our favourite Nigerian children’s books.

Baby Goes to Market Baby Goes to Market tells a story of when Baby and Mama go to the market, Baby is so adorable that the banana seller gives him six bananas. Baby eats one and puts five in the basket, but Mama doesn’t notice. As Mama and Baby wend their way through the stalls, cheeky Baby collects five oranges, four biscuits, three ears of sweet corn, two pieces of coconut . . . until Mama notices that her basket is getting very heavy! Poor Baby, she thinks, he must be very hungry by now! Rhythmic language, visual humor, and a bounty of delectable food make this a tale that is sure to whet little appetites for story time. Recommended Age: 2 – 5 years 
Anya Goes to Nigeria Anya Goes to Nigeria tells a story of the main character, Anya, who is going to Nigeria. She experiences the food, language, music and more in this beautiful country on the western coast of Africa. Recommended Age: 3 – 9 years 
Femi the Fox: A Pot of Jollof Femi the Fox: A Pot of Jollof: Will Femi the Fox learn a valuable lesson on his hunt for some Jollof rice? This is a tale teaching children about West African cooking and culture, using Femi the Fox and his friends. Recommended Age: 5 – 6 years 
Idia of the Benin Kingdom  Idia of the Benin Kingdom is an African folklore about Queen Idia of the ancient Kingdom of Benin. The young heroine sees her future in a dream and works her way to becoming one of the most loved, praised, and successful queens of the African Kingdom of Benin. The book is beautifully illustrated to keep the kids engrossed. This story will teach your children about obedience, practicing one’s art, and believing dreams can come true. Recommended Ages: 4 – 12 years This review was featured on Twinkl in their blog Top Interesting books by Nigerian Authors.
Chicken in the Kitchen Chicken in the Kitchen A Pot of Jollof: When Anyaugo follows a giant chicken into her kitchen one warm night in Nigeria, she embarks on a fun-filled adventure where nothing is quite as it seems. Is the nature spirit that lives in the wooden walls of her house a help or a hindrance? Is the mischievous giant chicken a friend or a foe? Most importantly, will Anyaugo be able to save the food her Aunties have cooked for the New Yam Festival the next day? Recommended Age: 4 – 8 years 
Master Man: A Tall Tale of Nigeria Master Man: A Tall Tale of NigeriaShadusa is strong. In fact, he figures he’s the strongest man in the world. He tells his wife, Shettu, “From now on, just call me Master Man.” But Shettu says, “Quit your foolish boasting. No matter how strong you are, there will always be someone stronger. And watch out, or someday you may meet him.”

When Shadusa learns of someone else calling himself “Master Man,” he goes out to set the man straight. But the trouble he gets into is far worse than he or even his wife could imagine. Recommended Age: 5 – 9 years 
Amadi’s Snowman Amadi’s Snowman: When he runs off to the market instead of sticking around for a reading lesson, he encounters a much-admired older boy secretly reading at a book stall, and then Amadi becomes intrigued by a storybook with pictures of a strange white creature that has a carrot for a nose. Unable to shake his questions about the snowman, Amadi discovers the vast world reading can open up―especially for an Igbo boy of Nigeria. Recommended Age: 6 – 8 years 
Catch That Goat! Catch That Goat! Ayoka is put in charge of the family goat, who promptly vanishes and runs through the town’s market stalls taking whatever looks tasty, in a counting book that introduces the sights and sounds of a Nigerian street market. Recommended Age: 2 – 4 years 
Chike and the River Chike and the River: Eleven-year-old Chike longs to cross the Niger River to the city of Asaba, but he doesn’t have the sixpence he needs to pay for the ferry ride. With the help of his friend S.M.O.G., he embarks on a series of adventures to help him get there. Along the way, he is exposed to a range of new experiences that are both thrilling and terrifying, from eating his first skewer of suya under the shade of a mango tree, to visiting the village magician who promises to double the money in his pocket. Once he finally makes it across the river, Chike realizes that life on the other side is far different from his expectations, and he must find the courage within him to make it home.  Recommended Age: 8 – 11 years 
The Drummer Boy The Drummer Boy: A talented blind drummer boy and singer moved from place to place entertaining people with his performance But deep down there is an undisclosed unhappiness Why is Akin unhappy Who amoung his friends can he trust in his search for true happiness Recommended Grade: 3 – 4 
How the Leopard Got His Claws How the Leopard Got His Claws: In the beginning, all the animals lived as friends. Their king, the leopard, was strong but gentle and wise. Only Dog had sharp teeth, and only he scoffed at the other animals’ plan to build a common shelter for resting out of the rain. But when Dog is flooded out of his own cave, he attacks the leopard and takes over as king. And it is then, after visiting the blacksmith’s forge and knocking on Thunder’s door, that the angry leopard returns to regain his throne by the menace of his own threatening new claws. In a riveting fable for young readers about the potency and dangers of power taken by force, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, evokes themes of liberation and justice that echo his seminal novels about post-colonial Africa. Recommended Age: 7 – 10 years 
Too Small Tola Too Small Tola: Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she’s strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she’s clever enough to count out Grandmommy’s change. When the faucets in the apartment break, it’s Tola who brings water from the well. And when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, has an accident and needs help taking his customers’ measurements, only Tola can save the day.  Recommended Age: 7 – 9 years 
Mayowa and the MasqueradesMayowa and the Masquerades: City-dwelling Mayowa is unhappy because he has been told he will be visiting his grandmother in Ilisan, Nigeria. When he gets there, Grandma pairs him up with the ever-hungry, fun-loving Denuyi. Together, they explore the town and all its wonders. The boys chase grasshoppers, dip their feet into a stream, visit piglets, climb a tree… and join in with a masquerade parade! By the time he returns to Lαgos, Mαyowa has learnt that there is more to life than computer games.Recommended Age: 3 – 8 years 
Ajapa the Tortoise: A Book of Nigerian Folk Tales Ajapa the Tortoise: A Book of Nigerian Folk Tales: is a collection of 30 timeless fables comes from the storytellers of Nigeria.  Ajapa the Tortoise — a trickster, or animal with human qualities — makes frequent appearances among the colorful cast of talking animals. In “Tortoise Goes Wooing,” he learns a valuable lesson in friendship and sharing. Ajapa’s further adventures describe how, among other things, he became a chief, acquired all of the world’s wisdom, saved the king, tricked the lion, and came to be bald. Recounted in simple but evocative language, these ancient tales continue to enchant readers and listeners of all ages. Recommended Age: 8 – 14 years 
Why The Sky Is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale Why The Sky Is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale: The sky was once so close to the Earth that people cut parts of it to eat, but their waste and greed caused the sky to move far away. Recommended Age: 4 – 8 years

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