Get ready to take an amazing adventure with nine year old Andrew, who one night discovers that his closet is actually a time machine taking him all the way back to the 14th century to meet Mansa Musa, the richest king to have ever lived. This colorful book introduces its readers to new and bold vocabulary words, customs, and places in Africa. There are so many aspects of Andrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King that I loved, it is hard to narrow it down to just a few. Some of my favorite things about the book are listed below.
HistoryWhat I most enjoyed about this book is the way it manages to teach children about history that they probably will not be learning about in school. The only sort of Black history most children learn is about slavery. What about the kings and queens that ruled before that? Andrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King introduces African history to young readers in a way that they can easily comprehend.
IllustrationAndrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King is beautifully illustrated with colorful and vibrant photos. We get to see African dancers, a detailed continental map of Africa, and photos of Andrew traveling with King Mansa Musa to places like Timbuktu, Mali, and the marketplace. I love how large the font is in the book as well. It is great for teaching children site words and easy for them to read along with. The detailed continental map of Africa is a wonderful learning tool to teach children how vast and large Africa really is. They are able to see that Africa is more than a jungle but has beautiful cities and places for them to aspire to visit.
At the end of the book, the author has placed a Glossary for words that children may be unfamiliar with. There are definitions for words like scepter and more detailed information for some of the places mentioned in the book. Andrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King would be a great addition to any child’s library but especially as a learning tool. This book is filled with historical facts and most importantly, the imagery of a Black king in flourishing Africa.
About The Author
Toni Settles is a Clark Atlanta University graduate who received her Bachelor’s degree in History. The book is inspired by her own son, Andrew but as she says it was created not only to inspire her son but every child who reads it.
“In a society, where Black and Brown children are constantly bombarded with negative imagery of self, I wanted to create a story that provided positive images for children of color. I wrote Andrew & The Time Machine Closet because I felt like there were not a lot of books that put our children, our Brown babies on a platform or pedestal. You have stories like Snow White, that tells our little girls that a character that looks nothing like them “Is the fairest of them all”. I wanted to juxtaposed that in a positive way, provide a balance and give them that extra encouragement that they matter too, that they are beautiful, smart and valuable!”
When asked why she chose to write about Mansa Musa, her response was perfectly clear:
“I felt it was important to tell the story of the richest king and black man to ever live, Mansa Musa. It is important that we give our children examples of greatness early on to instill in them a sense of pride and value. Examples that they can most importantly identify with, because representation matters. Throughout the book you will find vibrant, bold, and colorful attention grabbing illustrations, I purposely had images created that our children could not only see but feel. I want the young reader to know that I created Andrew & The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King to not only honor my son, but to honor every child of color in this world, they deserve positive images and representation of self. The story is not only about Mansa Musa’s wealth but it is a story about unity. Mansa Musa aside from the large amount of gold that he possessed, he is also known for his large caravan. His caravan contain a large group of poets, storytellers, historians, scientist, seamstress, doctors, army, etc..His caravan accompanied him on all of his journeys and assisted with building cities throughout the continent of Africa. It’s a story that instills in the young reader the importance of working together to achieve great things.”
You can find out more and purchase Andrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King at www.andrewandthetimemachine.com
To follow Toni Settles and the book, check out the following social media links:
Instagram: Author @ToniSettles
Book Account @adventurousandrew
Andrew And The Time Machine Closet: The Gold King
Soft CoverISBN: 9781364337490
Author: Toni Settles
Illustrator: Tevin Baxter
Publisher: House of GEMs, LLC
This is a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.