West African Mother & Child


West African Mother & Child© Durga Yael Bernhard

This is the last of several illustrations from A Ride on Mother’s Back that I’ve been posting over recent weeks.  Here we see a mother and child from Guinea or Mali, the part of Africa that I’ve visited several times.  Thus I was able to compose this scene from my own memories, showing a typical day in a rural village of West Africa.  Yes, there are goats everywhere.  Yes, there are people rhythmically pounding grain with large mortars and pestles, or clapping and singing in the shade of a mango tree.  Yes, people carry baskets and bowls on their heads, and babies in colored cloths wrapped around their bodies – babies who sleep through all kinds of commotion and noise.  Children are cherished in this society, and they are carried everywhere as babies and toddlers by older family members – most often the mother or sister.

West Africa is an incredibly colorful and lively place, full of music and laughter.  Though the people are poor by our standards, their communities are spiritually and artistically rich.  I hope to get back there someday!  I’d love to get my feet dirty with that beautiful red volcanic dust again.

You can order a signed copy of A Ride On Mother’s Back here.

A Ride On Mother's Back cover

A good week to all!

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
LOVE ISNew! – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVENew!! Explore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!




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