DENDE MARO: The Golden Prince

The cover for DENDE MARO: The Golden Prince

By Sally Mallam
Illustrations created from the ancient rock art of Africa
Ages: 11–18

ISBN: 978-1-933779-48-5 (hardback) $17.99
40 pages

A beautiful tale about how human beings came to learn and develop their arts, language and mathematics and the ability to settle all over the world—to remake the world. A journey that made us human. Inspired by the ancient rock art of Africa, Sally Mallam illustrates this journey by rearranging and coloring “digital collages” of these original images, recorded in the early to mid-20th century. The end of the book lists websites and books that may interest readers and a map that shows many of the countries where this ancient art was found.

Received a “Noteworthy 2010” distinction
from Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA)

Praise for Dende Maro

“Dende Maro: The Golden Prince is a wondrous picturebook for children ages 5 and up, inspired by the ancient rock art of Africa. Illustrated with “digital collages” created by rearranging and coloring original images of this ancient rock art, Dende Maro is an original fable about the creation of the world, and the Golden Prince sent to teach the people of the new world how to take care of themselves and each other. … A delightful and panoramic picturebook reflecting the mystique of Africa’s ancient treasures, Dende Maro is highly recommended for parents to share with children during storytime or bedtime.” Midwest Book Review

“… The digital collage illustrations, done in vivid colors, provide a fresh interpretation of prehistoric African rock art, where familiar symbols have been colored and duplicated to create large colorful images of humans and nature. The text has a relaxed cadence that leads readers to pause and consider what it would be like to have been alive millions of years ago. Dende Maro teaches the people about the land, plants, animals, music, and art, and ‘how to care for all the animals and for each other.’ Younger students may not fully grasp the ideas presented here, but the text and stunning art will convey the sense that humans are connected through nature and art.” School Library Journal

“Dende Maro is a beautifully told and stunningly illustrated origin tale, inspired by ancient African carvings and paintings. The emphasis on the arts, as well as survival skills, encourages readers to reflect on the importance of music, writing, and visual representation in human life. The list of websites and books at the end encourages further study of art forms that date back thousands of years.” —Denise Nessel, Ph.D., Consultant and Director of Publications National Urban Alliance for Effective Education

“Grades 2-4, Mallam illustrates this original creation myth with images from African rock paintings that have been scanned, rearranged, and placed against abstract speckled backgrounds. The resulting artwork has a mysterious, almost eldritch air, which suits the tone of the text. In the beginning is a longing that transforms into a wind, which creates a primal form from which all others spring. Eventually that longing also gives birth to a prince who teaches his people not only all the skills needed to live, but also how to dance, count, write, paint, and listen in their / heart to the many / rhythms of the world. Like Marcia Brown’s Caldecott Medal winner, Shadow (1982), this will likely have more appeal to adults; but curious younger viewers should respond to the striking art.” Booklist – American Library Association

“… a captivating and inspiring book about human origins, designed to connect with very young readers, yet entirely unpretentious despite its huge canvas. Not a word goes to waste in this lyrical but impressively spare depiction of the beginnings of the world, the evolution of animals and people, their gradual migration across the globe and the learning of the essential arts that make us human. … This book will excite children’s interest in where we came from and how we developed – and stimulate universal yearnings for a better future. It is a brilliant debut work by artist and storyteller, Sally Mallam.” Human Givens – Promoting Emotional Health and Clear Thinking. Vol 16, No 3

Available in hardback.

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Education Standards

Common Core State Standards

Grade 8: Dende Maro ELA alignment

California Content Standard Alignment

Grades 9–12: Dende Maro ELA alignment

Grades 9–12: Dende Maro English Language Development

Grades 9–12: Dende Maro History-Social Science

Grade 8: Dende Maro Visual Arts

Grades 9–12: Dende Maro Visual Arts


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