A Wisp Of Wisdom: Animal Tales From Cameroon

A Special Announcement...

Last week, via social media, we found out about an exciting new book project. We quickly started investigating and soon discovered it was a worthy project to champion and support as a group. We felt there would be many other schools and families in North Somerset that would want to do the same.

Although the project is a collaboration between some fantastic award winning authors and Oxford university, the main force behind this literary enterprise i the winner of last year's Quality Fiction North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award- Tom Moorhouse. He sent us the following details to share...

What's the idea?

We are eleven children's authors, an artist, a publisher, and a conservation project, working together to create a very special book.

Our book is inspired by traditional animal stories from the Korup forest in Cameroon: stories full of tricky tortoises, cunning monkeys, flies stronger than elephants, despicable crocodiles, and animals holding meetings up in the sky. 

The tales are beautiful, and they are being lost. The children in the Korup have no books. (We mean this. No books. None.) They will never read their stories. 

Our plan is simple: we have collected tales from the region's chiefs and elders. We borrow the stories, retell them in our book and then give them back.

We aim to give at least 2,000 free copies of our book to children in the Korup.


How does it work?

We are crowdfunding to get our book into the hands of children in the Korup.

  • Our backers buy copies of our book through perks on Indiego.

  • Their copy pays for its own printing and for copies to be printed and distributed in Cameroon. 
  • Our backers receive a unique, beautiful book of stories, written by some of the best children's authors around, and available nowhere else.
  • We distribute at least 2,000 copies free to children in the Korup.


Who are we?

Our storytellers are Abi Elphinstone, Adele Geras, Beverley Naidoo, Elizabeth Laird, Geraldine McCaughrean, Gill Lewis, Ifeoma Onyefulu, Lucy Christopher, Piers Torday, Sarah Lean and Tom Moorhouse

The illustrator is Emmie van Biervliet

The publisher is Lantana Publishing

And helping out, providing vital logistical support, is the conservation research charity WildCRU, part of Oxford University's Zoology Department.


How did this all start?

Tom Moorhouse works as an ecologist at WildCRU, Oxford. One of his colleagues, Christos, runs a conservation project in the Korup, with a local team who study and conserve the forest.

Christos' team collected tales from the region's elders and chiefs, and asked Tom to write them up, to be photocopied and handed to the children.

Instead, Tom called up some amazingly talented and generous people who agreed to write, illustrate or edit and publish the stories - and so it began.


Further Information

#CameroonStories on Twitter


Animal Tales From Cameroon on Indiego


How will the North Somerset Teachers' Book Award group be getting involved?

We will be purchasing copies of ‘A Whisper of Wisdom’ for both ourselves and our schools. We will be reviewing it here as soon as we can.