From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom
Summary: A collection of African wisdom gorgeously illustrated by artists from Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, the United States and more.
Aphorisms are universal. They give guidance, context and instruction for life’s issues, and they help us understand each other and the world around us. We use them every day, yet never think about where they came from or why they exist.
In this beautifully illustrated collection, Eric Walters brings us classic sayings from the places where this shared wisdom began. Ashanti, Sukuma, Akan and Kikuyu: all of these cultures use the portable and easily shared knowledge contained in aphorisms, and from these cultures and more this communal knowledge spread.
This book is a celebration of art, of community and of our common history.
From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom is a compilation of fifteen different aphorisms/proverbs compiled by Eric Walters. Each proverb includes its origin, meaning, and a vivid gorgeous artwork.
I was pleased that some of the proverbs were familiar to me while others were new. One of my favorites is “Many hands make light work” because it’s one that I discuss with my children often about teamwork and how important it is. The artwork is amazing and we enjoyed reading about the different artists in the back of the book. The note from Eric Walters along with the Foreword introduces why aphorisms are so important and why we use them. Readers will also learn about Creation of Hope, an organization founded by Eric Walters that helps orphans in Kenya. A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of this book is donated to the orphans of Creation of Hope which helps pay for their education.
This is a wonderful book to have on the shelf and It’s ideal for classrooms and libraries. Both educational and thought-provoking, this is truly a perfect book for children and adults of all ages. I was fortunate to win this on a giveaway and feel so lucky to have this delightful book full of knowledge to share with my children.
“With great pleasure, I offer my endorsement of this book which shares the eternal wisdom of the peoples of Africa. Read, enjoy, share and remember: we are all one people.” – Kivutha Kibwana, Governor, Makueni County, Kenya
- Age Range: 6 – 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 – 4
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Tundra Books (January 2, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770497196
- ISBN-13: 978-1770497191
About the Author/Compiler
Eric was born in Toronto in 1957, which makes him “real old”. But, as Eric says, “Just because I have to grow old doesn’t mean that I have to grow up!” In his many roles as parent, teacher, social worker, youth sports coach and writer he is in constant contact with children and young adults. He draws from these experiences and feels that this helps him to capture the realistic interaction between young people – the conflicts, tensions, stresses and interests that make up their lives.
Eric began his writing as a teacher. He taught in classes from kindergarten up and his stories often reflect the curriculum that he was teaching. He always read stories – picture books and novels – to his students and this helped him to understand what children liked, responded to, and were inspired by. He enjoys the enthusiasm of his students and often looks at them to provide him with the inspiration to pursue a particular topic in both the classroom and in his writing.
Eric tries to write every day. When he has a story idea he starts with research. This could involve reading books, watching a documentary, or trying to experience the things that his characters are going to go through. This could include rock climbing or riding white water (for STARS), spending time in a wheelchair (Rebound), playing and walking with tigers (Tiger By The Tail), hanging around a tough biker bar (Diamonds in the Rough), standing out in his backyard in a blizzard wearing a T-shirt and shorts (Trapped In Ice), or traveling to Africa (Alexandria of Africa).
“The most important thing anybody ever told me about writing was to write what you know . . . and the only way to get to know things is to do your homework and research before you write,” Eric stated.
Once the writing begins the story is always playing around in his head. He takes any opportunity, even if it’s just a few minutes between presentations, to put things down, either with pen and paper or on his laptop.
Prior to entering teaching and writing Eric was a social worker (B.S.W., M.S.W., B.A.Hons – specialized major psychology). He worked in a variety of settings including child welfare, private practice, a mental health centre, and, for twenty years on a part-time basis as a Crisis Social Worker in an emergency department. He stopped teaching 4 years ago and left the ER only last year.
The majority of Eric’s time is spent in the company of his wife, children and dogs (Lola a big standard poodle and a little white dog named Winnie The Poodle). – Goodreads
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