50 Books: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

Today’s pick:

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

A simple and satisfying story of two daughters, based on an African folktale.  One daughter has a gentle and generous heart, and she is tested and rewarded; one is petty and grasping, and she gets what she deserves.  The story is engaging and nicely phrased, but the illustrations are what makes this book a real delight.

They are absolutely luminous, deeply textural, warm, and brilliant.  The subtle expressions on the faces of the two daughters tell the story very well, and the joy at the end of the story radiates off the page.

The book is for pre-K to grade 3, it says, but I never get tired of reading it (and often catch the older kids listening in).


  1. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m always looking for books featuring people with different skin tones (half of our kids are adopted and have brown skin), and good quality stories with diverse illustrations are difficult to find.

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