Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales - Nelson Mandela

Hey look! It has a website!

 

I wasn't quite sure what this one was going to be like, but it was an unexpected delight.

 I listened to it on audio, and I highly recommend experiencing it this way.  Each story is read by a different narrator, from Alan Rickman (he reads the first story and I couldn't get over my shock that Snape was reading an audiobook) to Levar Burton (Reading Rainbow Geordie!!) to Whoopie Goldberg.  I thought the actors were strange choices--personally, I would have used South African actors or whatever--but several of them are very good.  I now want to see if Whoopie Goldberg ever narrated any other audiobooks, because she was fantastic.  Oh, and Bishop Desmond Tutu does an intro!

 

The stories themselves are well-written and entertaining (enough so that I wish I could figure out who wrote them).  The tales vary in theme from "Fesito Goes to Market", an adorable adventure of a young boy who ends up with a very overloaded bicycle, to "The Ring of the King", an extremely entertaining trickster tale, to Mpipidi and the Motlopi Tree, a cute "just so" style tale.  In the audio version, the stories are interspersed by  beautifully performed songs, including about five minutes of songs at the end.

 

Anyway, a lovely audiobook for a great cause.