Nnedi Okorafor and the illustrator of the book Mehrdokht Amini

On October 8th, Nnedi Okorafor attended a ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC  where she received recognition her contributions to African children’s books. Okorafor and the Iranian illustrator Mehrdokht Amini were both awarded the Children’s Africana Book Award for Chicken in the Kitchen.

The Children’s Africana Book Award is a prize sponsored by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the Africa Studies Association. It is awarded to the best children’s and YA books with Africa-related content.

Okorafor’s beautiful children’s book, published by Lantana Publishing, tells the story of a girl named Anyaugo who gets a surprise visit from a Chicken masquerade. The story and illustrations are delightful. We can’t recommend it enough. [click here to read more about the book]

It was a busy weekend of events as Okorafor and Amini participated in other events held at the Library of Congress and at elementary schools.

They  clearly had a blast. Looks like there were lots of fun activities—face-painting, storytelling, and of course book signing.

We are so proud of both women—Okorafor for delighting young minds with beautiful stories about African life and Amini for bringing the story to life in a series of dazzling images.

Enjoy the photos!

[Image source: Nnedi Okorafor’s Facebook page]


Alice Curry runs Lantana Publishing, the publisher of Chicken in the Kitchen



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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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