24/10/2017 18:10 SAST | Updated 24/10/2017 18:10 SAST

Tullula: An African Story For African Children

A beautiful new children's book wants the African child to see themselves in the story.


A new book by up-and-coming publisher Yellow Hat Publishers, called Tullula, is getting people talking for it's bold mission: to change the lack of African stories available to African children, and upskill rural communities in the process.

The book written by Refiloe Moahloli -- whose debut novel 'How Many Ways Can You Say Hello' is now included in the South African school curriculum -- tells the story of a brave bird who lets children know "it's ok to be different."

Our debut publication is officially launched! Oh, and what a successful launch it was❤️ #TullulaTheBird

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Yellow Hat creative director Abena-Saah Mophatlane began the book project after discovering the embroidered illustrations of Simon Mahlo. She wanted to create a story around a peacock embroidered by Mahlo which "had something very special about it."

She wanted to create something for African children.

"We want the African child to see themselves in the story," Mophatlane says.

"A lot of what children are consuming comes from overseas, especially brown-skinned children –- they are not represented. So our book brings that to the fore. But something that has also really been a lot on our minds, is that a lot of our oral stories leave a lot of margin for error. Our african way has always been oral narration, and we really want to preserve those stories.​​"

Simon Mahlo. Illustrator. Magic maker✨ #TullulaTheBird

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The book has been turned into a special collectors edition -- hand-embroidered by a community of embroiderers who work with Mahlo.

For more information, check out their website.