Read the World: Africa

Read the World: Africa
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Welcome back to the Read the World Book Club!

Ready to head to Africa together? Grab your passport and plane ticket and let’s do this!

Summer Book Club sidebar

Just joining us?

We’re on a global excursion, using my new book, Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time, as our travel guide.

Let’s get started reading our way across Africa!

Jamie’s Introduction

Click the photo below to watch:

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.05.27 AM

I have a special guest joining me to kick off Africa–one that your kids might enjoy meeting as well. Don’t miss watching this together!

The Challenge

Your challenge is to read at least one book that takes place in Africa.

Easy peasy, right? Of course you can embellish your experience as much as you’d like.

Here are some fantastic YouTube clips to add to your explorations:

The Videos

Disclaimer: YouTube can sometimes bring up inappropriate ads/suggestions/comments/etc. Please proceed with caution and preview to determine which ones are best for your family.

Just click the picture to be taken to the clip!

Children of Africa (2 min)

Children of Africa (2 min – ages 3+)

African Animals

African Animals (16 min – ages 3+; Note: Shows lions eating a carcass)

Helping in Mali

Helping in Mali (5 min – ages 3+; follow up video from Mali here)

Children learn West African Dance & Drums (8 min - ages 4+)

Children learn West African Dance & Drums (8 min – ages 4+)

The Geography of Africa

The Geography of Africa (10 min – ages 8+)


The Recipes

In each post I’ll suggest a few recipes from Global Table Adventure so you can take your exploration into the kitchen.

The recipes I’m choosing to highlight here are super-simple (after all, I promised you guys a stress-free book club, remember?!) But for those who’d like more of a challenge, you can browse all of Sasha’s recipes from Africa here.

West African Jollof Rice (like you heard my special guest mentioning!)

Jollof Rice, West Africa (you heard my special guest mention this!)

Rolex Breakfast Wrap, Uganda

Rolex Breakfast Wrap, Uganda

Seswaa Stewed Beef, Botswana

Seswaa Stewed Beef, Botswana

Warm Mango & Cloves, Liberia (woot!)

Warm Mango & Cloves, Liberia

Gingered Pineapple Ice Cream Sundae with Toasted Coconut

Gingered Pineapple Sundae with Toasted Coconut, Madagascar


The Printables

Note: If you missed the global book log and other start-up printables, you’ll find those in this post.

Click the image below to download the maps of Africa:

2 Maps of Africa - 1 labelled, 1 blank

2 Maps of Africa – 1 labelled, 1 blank


Optional Extras

A few fun extras you may want to choose from:

One of our absolute favs--we've had this for years!

One of our absolute favs–we’ve had this CD for years!

Love this idea!

Love this idea!

African Plains Coloring Book

African Plains Coloring Book

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.46.06 PM

65 piece Africa Geography Puzzle

Come face-to-face with the untamed African lions of the savanna. For ages 6+.

Come face-to-face with African lions of the savanna in this movie. For ages 6+.

Free with Amazon Prime; for older tweens+

Free with Amazon Prime; for older tweens+


Next Stop: Europe!

Head back to Give Your Child the World to choose your books for Europe, coming up next!

What do you and yours plan to discover about Africa? Feel free to tell us in the comments or with #GiveYourChildtheWorld on social media!

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. We’ve been getting into Africa as well. We have a houseguest and her baby son living with us. She is from The Ivory Coast. She’s a wonderful cook and has been making lots of great dishes for us. She’s made something similar to Jollof rice. This week she said she is going to grill fish for us. We need to go to the international market and get something, the name of which I can’t recall. She says it is like cous cous but made from cassava. Love your sweet son from Liberia. I wish I had younger kids. My youngest is about to turn 15. Your book looks amazing!

  2. This week our chosen books are: Jambo Means Hello, African Critters, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales, and Elephants of Africa. You have such great selections in your book. While I was at the library, I showed the children’s librarian my copy of the book and recommended it, so she ordered it on the spot! 🙂 And thank you for including my guest post at Practical by Default in the Weekend Links. It was a nice surprise.
    Shelly’s latest post: Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 12- Teachers Are Starting to Give Up

  3. Amanda G says:

    Jamie – this is all so wonderful! Thank you for putting it all together for us! One quick question – would it be possible to get the next few week’s printables? We’re headed on vacation and taking our books for Europe and N. America with us, but won’t have access to a printer. Thanks!

  4. Thanks so much Jamie! What a great guide for us and encouragement to do it and use the book! We will be starting a few weeks later but trekking aling none the less!
    Thanks for posting supplements too!

  5. Heather H says:

    Reading some of the books today! Love them! Also playing an African drum that our friend brought back from her time as a missionary in Uganda. Such a fun experience for the kiddo! Next up is making beaded necklaces and some yummy food 😀 Thank you for the awesome blog posts!!

  6. Rachel Snowden says:

    My husband just returned from Kenya yesterday, so we had some new lovely gifts to set out today. We leave tomorrow for a vacation, so we crammed in a bit today and made chapati and bean stew that our friends from Kenya taught us how to make.
    We read For You Are a Kenyan Child, part of Africa Is Not a Country, and Mama Panya’s Pancakes. (One small note is that our friends from Kenya laughed a lot when we told them about and showed them the Mama Panya book since “panya” means rat. They also said, just as an fyi, that it might be how life in a coastal village might be there in Kenya and a few things in the end informative section seemed a little “off” to them. Still, such a sweet book, and we love reading it! Oh, and my son’s gift from my husband was a thumb piano, which is mentioned in the book, and he was thrilled!)

  7. Sarah Tien says:

    Your special guest’s smile is contagious. I just smiled the whole time watching the intro! 🙂

  8. I am sooo excited! Your image is of a hot air balloon over Africa – my daughter is 3 (almost 4 as she keeps reminding me), but already dreaming of that exact experience… She was bouncing around excitedly when she saw that image – so thanks for that 😉 We are continuing to love this book club – I’m so glad you authored and shared this book with us 🙂 We are going to try to make some mealie bread we found on global table adventure this week!!! I keep going to the grocery store before you list your recommendations…lol….oh, well, we will just have to try Elijah’s recommended Jollof Rice next time! He did great on camera by the way! With this book and these ideas we are going to be traveling the world for years to come 😉
    Erika’s latest post: Big Little Lies is Mom’s Book Nook Pick for June

  9. Kimberly says:


    I have to tell you how much we are enjoying your book. It has stirred curiosity in me more than the kids. My horizons are expanding and reading to the littles isn’t near as tiresome now that I have new material. I have 5 kids from 16-3 and all of them have gotten into at least one book. Beverly Naidoo’s book has spurred the 11 yo to put all her books on hold at the library. Thank you!

  10. Fiona Clarke says:

    Hi Jamie
    I loved watching you and your son Elijah on your video today, what a sweet boy, and the baby photo! So very special.
    My 3 sons and I are really enjoying the bookclub so far and have enjoyed our multicultural books and now Africa. We have quite a few from your book, including My Librarian is a Camel, Off to Class, For you are a Kenyan Child, Mama Panya’s Pancakes and a few more. I brought all these from Book Depository as our library didn’t have what I wanted but I did manage to pre-order quite a few from our library for Europe Week. My boys and I really enjoy the Children Around the world video clips as well, and this morning as we watched them my eyes filled with tears. We have a sponsor child in Kenya and so African children just melt my heart. We long to go there to meet her and her family. It is so wonderful to experience the world like this, reading amazing books, watching lovely video clips to bring it all alive, cooking some meals to experience the culture. We are also enjoying watching Documentaries on Africa as well, one of them “Slow Train in Africa” with Rhys Griff-Jones a Welsh guy. It is fantastic as it takes you through so many different African countries and brings it to life.
    Thank you again Jamie for what you have created here to inspire us all and for opening up a little of your family and your heart to us.
    Also, my twin 11 year old sons were excited to “meet” your 11 year old son today, they thought that was fun.
    Fiona, New Zealand

  11. Wow. Thank you for all that you put together for this. I created an Africa playlist on my youtube and excited to share with my 2.5 year old sometime. A “new” show for her to watch.

  12. Welcome to Africa, so happy to be joining you on your journey… Draw Africa is top of our wish list for our new school year. It really looks fabulous!!!
    se7en’s latest post: Se7en Journeys to Africa with the Read the World Book Club…

  13. Mparker says:

    Jamie, not to gush…but honestly, this has been wonderful so far! My six kids are between ages 4 months and eight…so I just picked up as many books as I could from those age categories in your book and every single one we have read so far has been beautiful! I love the illustrations, I love the stories, I love how they are inspiring our children!! This morning we read a huge pile but finished with Beatrice’s Goat…and a conversation instantly started about how they could raise money to buy someone a goat this Christmas. They are feeling even in their little hearts how much they have. Thank you for sharing this gift with us! PS, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this, but I noticed that a geography songs compilation is available to Amazon Prime members. Kathy Troxell is the name I think? Not the most amazing songs, but they are a great way to get countries names stuck in your head!

    • Wonderful, thanks for mentioning that – and I’m so blessed that you’re enjoying my little book baby! 😉 If you haven’t already left an Amazon review, would you please? They help so much!

  14. Shellie Fleming says:

    I am in tears! I have to admit that I immediately jumped into multi-cultural week without reading the first several chapters of your book. After watching this weeks video, I rushed over to my copy and began reading your story. We are kindred spirits! I grew up in North Carolina as well, and lived in Wilmington for several years. I was always the child that wanted more than what my small town had to offer. The story of how you met your husband reminds me of how my husband and I met. The lord told me when I was in college I was going to meet the man I was going to marry. I too thought I was crazy. LOL Little did I know I would meet my soul mate via AOL (telling my age here) while we were in college. We discussed adoption from day 1 and have a miracle biological son, and adopted our daughter when she was about 8 months old. Our daughter is African-American and Puerto Rican. We celebrate our cultural diversity in our house in so many ways and your summer reading program has added so much to our summer. Thank you!

  15. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in multicultural week reading from Around the World in 80 Tales and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. This week we’re reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, Two Ways to account to Ten, Who’s in Rabbit’s House, and my oldest is reading The a Year with no Rain.

  16. How fun that you had your son in the vimeo videoas your special guest! I loved it.

  17. Krisitn says:

    Yesterday we read Planting the Trees of Kenya and today we read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind… such wonderful books! My children (4 and 7) enjoyed them both, and we had some great discussions. After reading today’s book, we also watched the TED talk by William Kamkwamba which was wonderful! Thank you for putting together such an inspiring book and summer reading program.

  18. Thank you for sharing all your hard work. We have enjoyed this week so much. We read so many books and tried a couple new recipes. My boys loved seeing the video with your son. We incorporated the theme of Africa into our art and music day for the week too.

  19. We are loving the book club! The stories this week were really fun. We read Seven Spools of Thread and We All Went on Safari.

    Tonight was super interesting. We had all American outdoor barbecue with two young men (16 and 17) from New Zealand and a young man from Sweden (21) who was here as a missionary and came back to visit. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is a very global church. We met our New Zealand friends through another friend who served as a missionary there. We are always praying for missionaries, currently I have a brother in Bolivia, a brother in Panama, a cousin in Russia and another cousin on his way to Taiwan. I served a 18 month mission to Ecuador.
    I loved the suggestions in the book Give Your Child the World and was happy to see that we were already doing most of them!

    We also love Stack the States and Stack the Countries Apps. My 4 year old boy knows every state by shape because of Stack the States and doesn’t read at all. He also knows the flag for many states and countries. I am quite sure I will be buying the Pin It Maps.

    We have also been doing a lot of watercolor maps. I print off a map and then tape it to the window and tape a watercolor sheet over it. I can then trace the map onto the watercolor paper. We, myself and my three kids who are old enough, all love to paint.

    Thanks for the inspiration and for writing your book!

  20. This book club has been so amazing for our family to participate in! For African week, besides all of the wonderful stories we are reading including “Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock” which is now a favorite, we have made some African Puff Puffs and we are making African Peanut soup soon! We have also done some coloring and we are finishing up our African masks and drums! Thank you for putting this together!!!

  21. We just made the Jollof and it was delicious (although I did take out the cayenne since my kids don’t like spicy food!). This series has been a lot of fun! Now off to Europe 🙂

  22. What is the name of the song in the first video?

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