The Girl Who Married a Ghost: and Other Tales from Nigeria

The Girl Who Married a Ghost: and Other Tales from Nigeria

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by Ifeoma Onyefulu
     
 

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As a child, Ifeoma Onyefulu was catapulted into a strange storytelling world where spirits ruled and animals talked, a world not so much about happy endings, more about learning a lesson or two. For this sparkling and funny collection she retells nine of the best Nigerian tales. In The Girl Who Married a Ghost, stuck-up Oglisa discovers that pride goes before a

Overview

As a child, Ifeoma Onyefulu was catapulted into a strange storytelling world where spirits ruled and animals talked, a world not so much about happy endings, more about learning a lesson or two. For this sparkling and funny collection she retells nine of the best Nigerian tales. In The Girl Who Married a Ghost, stuck-up Oglisa discovers that pride goes before a fall; and in the Wrestler and the Ghost, the greatest wrestler in the world gets his come-uppance when he challenges a ghost. There are also stories featuring animals from the African jungle. Tortoise tricks the other animals so that he can win The Great Eating Competition, and hoards food for himself in The Famine - until the other animals become suspicious. Why the Lizard Nods His Head has something to say about greed - how it can get you into deep trouble, while Lazy dog and Tortoise shows that everyonee should work together, unlike Dog who would never help his friends dig a well. Ifeoma retells these magical stories for generations of city-dwelling children who have moved far, far away from the world of animals and spirits.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Onyefulu has compiled 10 stories that were told to her as a child. They show the spirit of Nigerian village life, and each has a moral at the end. The title story describes arrogant and picky Ogilisa, who refuses to marry any of the men from her village. She finally finds a handsome man but he turns out to be a ghost and, scared, she runs back home, humbled. Other stories concern wily Tortoise; a famous wrestler who challenges a ghost; and lazy Dog, who refuses to help the other animals build a well. Pencil drawings accompany each tale. The writing is simple and straightforward and includes some of Onyefulu's native Igbo language. These stories can provide a basic introduction to readers unfamiliar with Nigerian folklore.—Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews

There once was a children's-book author named Ifeoma who lived in London with her two sons. While pondering her latest project, the writer recalled the folklore she was regaled with as a youth in her eastern Nigerian village.... Putting pen to paper, Onyefulu resurrects the characters that populated those stories, like sage King Lion and gullible Lizard, for a new generation of readers. She recounts the tale of a greedy, crafty Tortoise, who hides food from all his jungle friends during a famine only to learn the importance of sharing after he is caught out. In the titular tale, the author introduces readers to Ogilisa, a spoiled child who learns the importance of humility and acceptance when she finds her appetite cannot be satisfied in reality. Playful idioms, such as "they were like two seeds in an udala fruit," and basic introductions to Nigerian culture (mentions of food, clothing and customs) illuminate the basic precepts introduced in this vigorous collection of fables, each of which closes with a moral. The moral of this review? Aesop doesn't haveallthe answers.(Folklore.8-12)

From the Publisher

"A talented photographer, Onyefulu affords her audience an incisive, sophisticated view of her homeland's rich heritage." — Publisher's Weekly
"A joyful view of people today in touch with their roots." — Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847801760
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt


Then Lion said: "I declare this competition now open!"
Elephant stepped forward alnd almost at once her mouth began to water. The food was her favourite: okra stew. She scooped a large amount of stew into her mouth. But just then something strange happened. She began to hop on one leg and then the other It was as if she was dancing on hot charcoal. Lion's wife must have put a thousand chillis in the food! (From The Great Eating Competition

Meet the Author

Ifeoma Onyefulu was brought up in a traditional village in Eastern Nigeria. After completing a business management course, she trained as a photographer, contributing to a number of magazines. Ifeoma's highly acclaimed children's books are renowned for countering negative images of Africa by celebrating its traditional village life. Her work has been admired at many exhibitions. A is for Africa, her first book, was chosen as one of Child Education's Best Information Books and Junior Education's Best Books. She has twice won the Children's Africana Book Award: Best Book for Young Children in the USA for Here Comes Our Bride! in 2005 and Ikenna Goes to Nigeria in 2008. Ifeoma lives in London.

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Girl Who Married a Ghost: and Other Tales from Nigeria 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
monicalML More than 1 year ago
This book is one one of the best I've ever read. Two of my favorite folktales are The Girl Who Never Went Outside and The Girl Who Married a Ghost. The Girl Who Never Went Outside was very interesting because..... well I can't tell you everything, but listen to your parents. The Girl Who Married a Ghost was very funny because gooey substances... but I won't tell you what. All the stories have well learned lessons in them. If you ever need to teach your kid a lesson get this book.