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Sundiata: Lion King of Mali [Paperback]

By David Wisniewski (Author)
Our Price $ 5.59  
Retail Value $ 7.99  
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Item Number 157867  
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Item description for Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski...

The story of Sundiata, who overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule Mali in the thirteenth century.

Publishers Description
In the thirteenth century, Sundiata overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule the West African trading empire of Mali.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 767
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 358
  • Publishers Weekly - 02/08/1999
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 509

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Sandpiper
Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.73" Width: 8.74" Height: 0.12"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 22, 1999
Publisher   Clarion Books
Age  5-8
ISBN  0395764815  
ISBN13  9780395764817  

Availability  18 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 03:11.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About David Wisniewski

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Wisniewski (wiz-NESS-key) was born in Middlesex, England, in 1953. After training at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he spent three years as a clown, designing and constructing his own props, costumes, and gags. He was subsequently hired by his future wife, Donna, as a performer with a traveling puppet theatre. Married six months later, the Wisniewskis started their own troupe, Clarion Shadow Theatre, specializing in shadow puppetry. In the course of creating the plays, puppets, and projected scenery, Mr. Wisniewski evolved the storytelling techniques and art skills that eventually led to his picture books with their unique cut-paper illustrations. His retelling of GOLEM was awarded the 1997 Caldecott Medal. David Wisniewski died in 2002 in the Maryland home he shared with his wife and two children.

David Wisniewski currently resides in Monrovia, in the state of Maryland.

David Wisniewski has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Top Secret (Paperback HarperCollins)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Authors & Illustrators, A-Z > ( W ) > Wisniewski, David
3Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > Fiction > Africa
4Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > African
5Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Explore the World > Fiction > Africa
6Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8

Reviews - What do customers think about Sundiata: Lion King of Mali?

The wonders of sundiata  Dec 13, 2005
My history teacher read us this book and thought it was great. I hope to own it some day. also the pictures are beautiful.
Sundiata  Jun 19, 2005
With an intended audience range of 4 year olds to 8 years old, this book treads on dangerous territory. In a culture of violence, do we really want to introduce sorcery, curses, witches, and violence in a positive light to our pre-schoolers? I give 1 star as a token vote for the admirable illustrations.
Ignore previous review  Oct 23, 2004
For anyone concerned by the previous Nov. 2003 review - Wisniewski's book does not contain this episode. The reviewer must be thinking of another version (although I can't argue with the sentiment!)
Okay, but how do people view Sologon as extraordinary?  Nov 9, 2003
This book was basically like a prophecy to be filledand I didn'y like how Sologon nad to be drugged to become pregnant by her husband. Marriage doesn't mean controlling someone's body or mind. Marriage is vows and commitment.
Cheers for the Real Lion King  Jun 13, 2000
Anyone who wants to introduce a child (or even someone who is not so young) to the REAL glories of ancient Africa could do a lot worse than start with this book.

Beautifully illustrated, and simply written it retells the life of the great culture hero Sunjata (variously spelled Sundiata, Son-Jara or other ways depending on the language and inclination of the translator).

According to the story, Sunjata defeated the sorcerer-king Suma'oro Kante and liberated the Manding people (of modern day Guinea, Mali, plus parts of Senegal, Gambia, Cote D'Ivoire and Burkina Faso) wielding them together into a great empire in the mid 13th century. To modern Manding poeple, Sunjata is roughly equivalent in stature to Abraham Lincoln, Moses or the first Qin Emperor.

This version is very close to the original tale as told by the griots of west Africa (check out D.T. Niane's "Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali" for a traditional telling of the story or, for the really adventurous, D.W. Johnson and Fa-Digi Cissoko's scholarly rendition "Son-Jara: An African Epic"). A sung version of part of the Sunjata fassa (epic praise poem) can be found on the CD "An Be Kelen (We are One): Griot Music from Mali" also available on this site.

Sunjata's story includes sorcery, prodigious battles, and the triumph of nobility over gossip and envy. For modern readers, an especially powerful feature is the famous story of Sunjata overcoming childhood disability (he is crippled and -in some versions, unable to talk) to become the leader of the Malian people.

One final critical point: While Wisniewski's version is fairly faithful to the original, it should be pointed out that key secondary figures (such as Sunjata's mother Sogolon Keju, his sister Nana Triban, Fran Camara (the king of the Blacksmith clan), and above all, Sunjata's griot Bala Fasseke Kouyate) are given little mention. Thus it replicates a western emphasis on key individuals rather than stressing the importance of each of the various segments of Manding society (men, women, siblings, parents, warriors, traders, sorcerers, griots, blacksmiths, farmers)which was an essential point in the original story.

This is a beautiful, skillfully-rendered book on an exciting topic. Sunjata belongs with the Viking Sagas and the Knights of the Round Table as a key example of world literature. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.


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