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Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to Nigerian parents of Igbo descent. Her novels include Who Fears Death (winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel), Akata Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award). Her work spans several genres and age ranges, as evidenced by her short story collection Kabu Kabu and science fiction novel Lagoon (finalist for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Association Awards and the Red Tentacle Awards). Her latest release, Binti, won both the Hugo Award for Best Novella and the Nebula Award for Best Novella. Nnedi is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, New York. She splits her time between Buffalo and Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. Learn more about Nnedi at www.nnedi.com.
Mehrdokht Amini is an Iranian-British children’s book illustrator living in England. She graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from Tehran University and has worked as an illustrator for both educational and mainstream publishers ever since.
She started her career in Iran while still studying at university, working on various projects for children’s magazines and books. After moving to England in 2004 she continued working with publishers all around the world. One of her latest picturebooks, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns written by Hena Khan, received high praise and was selected for the 2013 ALSC notable children’s booklist.
Mehrdokht loves working with publishers who are interested in cultural diversity because it gives her an excellent opportunity to undertake a close study of different cultures and communities, gain a better understanding of those cultures and appreciate people of different backgrounds to her own.
For more information on her books please visit her website at: www.myart2c.com.
Within the cultural practices of many traditional West African religions, the barrier between life and death is not as rigid as it is in many religions. One of the central beliefs of many of these West African religions is that the spirits of the deceased can still influence the living. During religious celebrations, masked performers may take part in a festival with the purpose of entertaining the audience or rewarding achievement, chastising those who have done wrong or bringing messages of hope or caution. Known as ‘masquerades’, these performers channel the gods and spirits of the ancestors. The elaborate costumes they wear are more than simple disguises, for when a masquerade costume is worn, the person beneath it ceases to exist and the character represented by the mask comes alive to the audience. No-one watching the masquerade has the right to say the name of the person performing, even if they know who it is!
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Illustrator: Mehrdokht Amini
Format: Paperback or ebook (ePub for iBooks)
Release date: 12th October 2015
Page number: 32
Age range: 4-8 years
ISBN (paperback): 978-0-9932253-0-7
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9932253-1-4
Product dimensions: 24cm x 24cm
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