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Africans Thought of It

Amazing Innovations

Interest Age: 9–11
Grade: 4–6
Reading Age: 9–11
Hardcover : 9781554512775, 48 pages, February 2011 , 11.24" x 8.70"
Paperback : 9781554512768, 48 pages, February 2011 , 11.0" x 8.5"


Did you know that aloe vera—now found in countless products, including sunscreens and soaps—was first used by Africans? They ground it into powder and used it to treat burns and other skin conditions, and hunters used it to disguise their scent from animals. They also used the nutritious oil from the fruit of the oil palm tree in everything from cooking to medicines to wine. And the marimba, better known to us as the xylophone, is believed to have originated 700 years ago in Mali. Other unique African innovations include the technique of banana leaf art and using horns—and hairdos!—to communicate important messages.

Africans Thought of It features descriptive photos and information-packed text that is divided into sections, including: • Agriculture • Food • Medicine • Music • Architecture • Games & Sports

This fourth book in Annick’s successful We Thought of It series takes readers on a fascinating journey across the world’s second largest continent to discover how aspects of its culture have spread around the globe.


  • Joint winner, Skipping Stones Honor Book 2011
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2011
  • Nominated, Silver Birch Award 2011


“Readers can dip in and out of it, although it’s interesting enough that once they dip in, they probably won’t dip out until they’ve read the whole thing.”

- Biblio File, 12/23/11

“Provides a plethora of interesting and informative information both in text and pictorial format.”

- Resource Links, 06/11

“[A] clear, colorful design that includes numerous full-color photos and a great deal of informatoin . . . A fascinating blend of tradition and modernity is evident.” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 05/15/11

“No matter how much you know about the traditions and products of this vast multi-cultural continent, [this] will reveal something new.”

- Foreword Reviews, 03/11

“Vivid photographs feature authentic objects used . . . succinct definitions and compact descriptions provide an interesting blend of the contemporary with the traditional . . . informative and age-appropriate.”

- School Library Journal, 10/11

“Jam-packed with information about the copious resource of Africa, this . . . book is a great social studies reference source.”

- Library Media Connection, 03/12

“A great concept . . . Excellent colour photographs enhance the text and make it an accessible book for kids of all ages.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring/11

“Good introductions that could lead into deeper discussions and research.”

- Doucette Library of Teaching Resources, 02/12

“A wealth of information for anyone studying about African countries and their cultures.”

- CM Reviews, 05/11