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Sankofa

A Culinary Story of Resilience and Belonging

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On sale Oct 03, 2023 | 14 Minutes | 978-0-593-74505-2
Age 4-8 years | Preschool - 3
"Based on his own experiences as a first-generation Ghanaian American growing up in New York City, chef and author Adjepong’s debut picture book beautifully captures Kofi’s complicated feelings of in-betweenness, seeing himself as not quite American enough and not quite Ghanaian enough, even as he tries to connect to his family’s history. A recipe for jollof rice, the dish Kofi proudly shares with his class, is included at the end." —BCCB, starred review

Inspired by acclaimed chef Eric Adjepong’s own childhood, Sankofa is the powerful story of a young boy’s culinary journey 400 years into the past to reconnect with his African roots and find his own place in America. This thoughtful picture book also includes a recipe for jollof rice.

"Adjepong has crafted a delectable story that blends food history and Ghanaian culture. A celebration of food and culture that reminds youngsters to look back as they move forward." —Kirkus Reviews


What if home was a place you’ve never been? For Kofi, a first-generation Ghanaian American boy, home is a country called Ghana. But it’s a place he’s never been. When tasked to bring a dish that best represents his family’s culture to school for a potluck lunch, Kofi is torn. With the help of his Nanabarima (grandfather), Kofi learns the hardship and resilience his family has endured—and how food has always been an integral part their story and culture. Sankofa is a reminder that food can transport you to a place called home—even if you’ve never been.
"Based on his own experiences as a first-generation Ghanaian American growing up in New York City, chef and author Adjepong’s debut picture book beautifully captures Kofi’s complicated feelings of in-betweenness, seeing himself as not quite American enough and not quite Ghanaian enough, even as he tries to connect to his family’s history. A recipe for jollof rice, the dish Kofi proudly shares with his class, is included at the end." —BCCB, starred review

"Adjepong has crafted a delectable story that blends food history and Ghanaian culture. A celebration of food and culture that reminds youngsters to look back as they move forward." —Kirkus Reviews

"Sankofa
effectively introduces readers to food as a way of connecting people." —Booklist

"The heartwarming intergenerational bonding while they prepare the dish underscores the book’s theme of connecting generations through traditional meals. The choice of an atmospheric folk art style for illustrations adds to the cozy ambiance, evoking a sense of utility and community. The visuals complement the narrative beautifully, effectively conveying the message of unity and togetherness." —School Library Journal
Eric Adjepong (he/him) is the host of a series of live, virtual cooking classes that explore West African cuisine and food of the African diaspora. Adjepong rose to prominence as a finalist on season 16 of Bravo's Top Chef and as a contestant on season 17 of Top Chef All-Stars. As a first-generation Ghanaian American born and raised in New York City, Adjepong sources the flavors and influences in his cooking from many of the West African dishes he grew up eating.

Lala Watkins (she/her) is an illustrator, author, and self-proclaimed “good vibes connoisseur.” A graduate of the Ringling College of Art & Design, Watkins has worked on numerous children’s books and comics.

About

"Based on his own experiences as a first-generation Ghanaian American growing up in New York City, chef and author Adjepong’s debut picture book beautifully captures Kofi’s complicated feelings of in-betweenness, seeing himself as not quite American enough and not quite Ghanaian enough, even as he tries to connect to his family’s history. A recipe for jollof rice, the dish Kofi proudly shares with his class, is included at the end." —BCCB, starred review

Inspired by acclaimed chef Eric Adjepong’s own childhood, Sankofa is the powerful story of a young boy’s culinary journey 400 years into the past to reconnect with his African roots and find his own place in America. This thoughtful picture book also includes a recipe for jollof rice.

"Adjepong has crafted a delectable story that blends food history and Ghanaian culture. A celebration of food and culture that reminds youngsters to look back as they move forward." —Kirkus Reviews


What if home was a place you’ve never been? For Kofi, a first-generation Ghanaian American boy, home is a country called Ghana. But it’s a place he’s never been. When tasked to bring a dish that best represents his family’s culture to school for a potluck lunch, Kofi is torn. With the help of his Nanabarima (grandfather), Kofi learns the hardship and resilience his family has endured—and how food has always been an integral part their story and culture. Sankofa is a reminder that food can transport you to a place called home—even if you’ve never been.

Reviews

"Based on his own experiences as a first-generation Ghanaian American growing up in New York City, chef and author Adjepong’s debut picture book beautifully captures Kofi’s complicated feelings of in-betweenness, seeing himself as not quite American enough and not quite Ghanaian enough, even as he tries to connect to his family’s history. A recipe for jollof rice, the dish Kofi proudly shares with his class, is included at the end." —BCCB, starred review

"Adjepong has crafted a delectable story that blends food history and Ghanaian culture. A celebration of food and culture that reminds youngsters to look back as they move forward." —Kirkus Reviews

"Sankofa
effectively introduces readers to food as a way of connecting people." —Booklist

"The heartwarming intergenerational bonding while they prepare the dish underscores the book’s theme of connecting generations through traditional meals. The choice of an atmospheric folk art style for illustrations adds to the cozy ambiance, evoking a sense of utility and community. The visuals complement the narrative beautifully, effectively conveying the message of unity and togetherness." —School Library Journal

Author

Eric Adjepong (he/him) is the host of a series of live, virtual cooking classes that explore West African cuisine and food of the African diaspora. Adjepong rose to prominence as a finalist on season 16 of Bravo's Top Chef and as a contestant on season 17 of Top Chef All-Stars. As a first-generation Ghanaian American born and raised in New York City, Adjepong sources the flavors and influences in his cooking from many of the West African dishes he grew up eating.

Lala Watkins (she/her) is an illustrator, author, and self-proclaimed “good vibes connoisseur.” A graduate of the Ringling College of Art & Design, Watkins has worked on numerous children’s books and comics.