This picture book format biography of Nelson Mandela, aimed at younger children, is being published in collaboration with Mandela Legacy Media to celebrate what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on July 18th 2018.
The book conveys the political importance of Nelson Mandela’s life and his position as a global icon of courage, reconciliation and forgiveness but it also has a very personal tone as it is written by his youngest daughter and two great-granddaughters. A feeling of family pride in their famous father and great-grandfather pervades the book. This title is accessible to children as it takes the form of 15 questions by Zazi and Ziwelene to their grandmother Zindzi, the last born child of Winnie and Nelson Mandela, who was only 18 months old when her father went to prison. The question and answer format allows complex issues such as apartheid, colonialism and the pursuit of justice and equality to be explained in a way that children can understand, and places them in a personal context. The children also learn how they can continue their great-grandfather’s legacy in the world today. The text is complemented by the powerful illustrations of American illustrator Sean Qualls who also succeeds in conveying the political and the personal elements of Nelson Mandela’s life.
This is an informative, inspirational and well-constructed biography that should provoke questioning and discussion from its young readers.