Ifeoma Onyefulu

Ifeoma Onyefulu is a Nigerian expatriate living in England who has successfully introduced English-speaking audiences to the range and variety of village life in her homeland through her picture books for young readers.

Ifeoma likes stories and loves telling stories to schoolchildren. She feels very at home writing my children’s books. Illustrated with her own photographs, Ifeoma ‘s books have been praised as useful additions to classroom libraries for the lessons they teach about the universality of some experiences, as well as for offering a rarely seen depiction of African village life.

The brightly coloured photographs she includes in books such as A Is for Africa, Grandfather’s Work: A Traditional Healer in Nigeria, and A Triangle for Adaora: An African Book of Shapes evoke the important relationships between the people in her stories and also illustrate the customs and realities of everyday life in contemporary Africa.

The first of Ifeoma ‘s concept books, A Is for Africa provides an overview of Nigerian village life while also reviewing the alphabet for young English speakers. Chris Powling, writing in Books for Keeps, compared the visual impact of A Is for Africa to “stepping from a darkened room straight into noon sunshine, so bright and needle-sharp are the author’s photographs.”

Ifeoma selects traditional, African objects and artifacts to exemplify each letter, observed Roger Sutton, the critic adding in the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, that in A Is for Africa. As she come from a family that likes storytelling, her grandfather was a very good storyteller and he loved entertaining people with his magical stories, where animals come alive. It seems Ifeoma has inherited her enchanting story telling quality from her grandfather.

She has written 23 children’s books and one play titled No Water In The Jungle, performed last year (August 2019) in London, UK.

Ifeoma’s latest book, ‘Sing Me A Song, Ma’ is a collection of poems for children and their families, some of the poems are set in Nigeria, and a few in England, where she lives at present.

In this collection, there is also a poem set in Jamaica, where she had visited. Some of her poems are bit about environment, such as a poem titled, ‘Grandma’s Tree’, which is about how the trees are taken for granted, and yet we expect them to bear fruits for us to eat, but if we look after them properly, they will give us lots of joy.

Another poem, ‘Sing Me A Song, Ma’, is a light, fun poem, about a child who does not want to go to sleep and uses all sorts of clever ways to stay up by requesting a special song that will inspire her to dance, but the mother does not want to go along with that.

Likewise, a poem titled ‘Rain’ is about how important water is and how in some parts of the world people have to save rainwater for daily use, and also, it’s about how a heavy rainfall can affect the lives of poor people.

Ifeoma is the recipient of several awards for her books published by Frances Lincoln Ltd. Her books Here Comes Our Bride and Ikenna Goes To Nigeria has won CABA (Children Africana Book Award) in USA.