Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worldly Wednesday: Gambian Folk Tale Kumba Am and Kumba Amul

Recently, iStorybooks released the second of three West African / Gambian Folk Tales in a short series authored by Cornelius Gomez and myself.

This folk tale from The Gambia, called Kumba Am and Kumba Amul, is one of the country's most popular tales.  The story is about two stepsisters who each take a magical journey to wash a calabash bowl in a faraway sea.  As each girl takes her turn to travel, their kindness (or their selfishness) determines the outcome of their trek.

The project was a bit challenging, as the original folk tale of Kumba Am is quite long and also contains Grimm-esque violence that has made it much more suitable for an adult audiences in the past.  But Cornelius and I made a few adaptations that really transformed the tale into a fun and appropriate story for kids ages 4-8.  It's our hope that one of the most popular West African folk tales will now reach more young audiences and American children will know a bit more about Gambian oral history and culture.

If you haven't already downloaded the iStorybooks App for your iPhone, you can download it in iTunes (now with bug fixes)!  If you don't have an iPhone, you can see the online version of the story Kumba Am and Kumba Amul here.  You can also view our first Wolof folk tale, The Fish Snatcher, through iStorybooks - as well as nearly a dozen other stories adapted and/or originally authored by Miranda Paul.


11 comments:

KatieC said...

Looks great, Miranda! I just saw the sketches for my first book coming out with istorybooks, and I can hardly wait until it's out!

Miranda "Sibo" Paul said...

That's awesome, Katie! Can't wait to read your first story. Keep me posted!

inluvwithwords said...

Congratulations, Miranda!

Kelly Hashway said...

Congrats, Miranda! It looks great. :)

Anne E. Johnson said...

Congrats, Miranda (and Katie, too!). Will this app be available for Android? I don't have an iPhone or iPad.

Miranda "Sibo" Paul said...

Yes, Anne - the iStorybooks App is available for Android already. I know the Apple app was already updated with bug fixes and the newest stories, but I'm not sure if that one is. But check it out - new stories automatically download every so often. And Katie's story is coming to iStorybooks soon!

Cat said...

That's so cool! How exciting for you!

Miranda "Sibo" Paul said...

Thanks, Cat!

Claudine Gueh said...

This sounds great, Miranda! Adaptations of folk tales seems a really difficult task, especially if you have to fine-tune it to your target age-group and still let the essence of the story seep through.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, my kids love this story the kumba Am and Kumba Amul. cheers
kemi

Anonymous said...

Nice book! Students loved that story here in Brazil.

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