Alison Brownlie. Senegal. Crystal Lake, Ill.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1996. 31 pp. $12.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-57572-076-0.
Reviewed by Jo M. Sullivan (Federal Street School, Salem, Mass)
Published on H-AfrTeach (April, 1998)
This brief book on contemporary Senegal covers a variety of topics, regions, and lifestyles, and has photographs and clear visuals that give a good perspective on the variety that is Senegal. It includes urban and rural settings, and the towns in between, and makes a good attempt to focus on real people. This series was produced in cooperation with Oxfam and their grassroots, positive approach is evident most of the time. The maps are clear and easy to read and include just enough information to make the point. Photo variety is good, showing agricultural, pastoral, and urban ways of life, with a focus also on transportation, education, and families.
Once again, however, it is unfortunate that the very first words have to set up the reader to patronize the country and its people: "That does not mean that nothing happens there."
The only history included is from European contact. It is acknowledged as "recent history," but this pattern of only stating history as that involving Europeans is the wrong message.
Also annoying is the section on journeys around Senegal. When describing getting around in Dakar, accidents and unsafe cars were the emphasis. This could be said of Boston or New York, but in a children's book on these cities it never is.
Despite these reservations, the book is recommended.
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Jo M. Sullivan. Review of Brownlie, Alison, Senegal.
H-AfrTeach, H-Net Reviews.
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