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Upcoming Release | The Ogre of Sebet by Kathryn Langat

A Story of Ogres in Kipsigis, Kenya

Publication Date: 30 November 2021
ISBN: 978-9914-9953-1-2

Storytelling in the evening after a hard day’s work has been a ritual in African communities for years. Kipsigis folktales are told by adults, often grandmothers, on serene nights around a fire. The evening folktales do not follow any sequential order. The attention and enthusiastic response of the audience make the stories interesting. The stories are told subjectively, and narration of the story is accompanied by singing, drumming, dressing, and dancing around the fireplace.

Telling folktales helps children grow up to be responsible members of their society. Ogre stories are intended to send a moral message to the audience not to despise each other or look down upon those who come from poor families. Instead, they should be humble and seek advice from their parents and elders when they encounter anything they do not understand.

Parents and guardians need to know that this book will draw in emergent readers. It includes positive messages on caring for and building trust with each other in the community. Parents or guardians can work with children who are challenged by this reading by alternating the reading of pages, paragraphs, or sentences. It is also useful to remind young children to ‘read’ the illustrations to help them understand the story.

The storybook is perfect for children who enjoy fiction. Storybooks that contain rich cultural elements provide young children with opportunities to respond to African literature as they grow up. They also give children an appreciation of their cultural heritage, which may have been forgotten. For example, this storybook contains Kipsigis words and names, along with explanations and a glossary to enlighten young readers on how the Kipsigis people lived in the past. Finally, cultural stories help children to develop emotional intelligence and creativity through imagination.

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