On the cover of A Wisp of Wisdom, a collection of retold stories from Cameroon, two elephants are in a tug of war
In a scene from A Wisp of Wisdom: Animal Tales from Cameroon, drill monkeys swing from a tree and tease a dog barking below them
In a scene from A Wisp of Wisdom: Animal Tales from Cameroon, an elephant loudly trumpets his displeasure
In a scene from A Wisp of Wisdom: Animal Tales from Cameroon, colourful birds are perched on a tree
In a scene from A Wisp of Wisdom: Animal Tales from Cameroon, a turtle falls from the sky

A Wisp of Wisdom: Animal Tales from Cameroon

Regular price
Sale price
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
Quantity must be 1 or more

Armoured pangolins, blue-bottomed drill monkeys, red-legged francolins and red river hogs are just some of the fascinating creatures you will discover in this collection of folk tales from the Korup region of Cameroon, tales that are just as extraordinary as the animals that inspired them…



About A Wisp of Wisdom: Outreach Project

A Wisp of Wisdom had an unusual birth. It began when a conservation research team in central Africa collected folk tales from their local chiefs and elders. It ended with eleven children’s authors, an artist and a publisher joining the project to help retell stories from the Korup region in Cameroon.

Why? Good question. The answer is that Korup has rich stories, full of the animals that live in their precious forests. But the oral tradition that hands these stories down is being lost. And people in Korup have no books. (We mean this. No books. None.) And so the stories are being lost.

The original idea was to collect the tales and photocopy them, so the children would have something to read. 

Wouldn’t it be good, we thought, to make a proper book. And to have lots of authors. And to illustrate it beautifully. And to raise the funds to print at least 2,000 copies of that book in Cameroon. And for the conservation team to then give the book back, for free, to the children of Korup.

A Wisp of Wisdom is that book. We hope you enjoy it.


*North Somerset Teachers' Book Award (shortlist)

‘Each story stands on its own, but there is a wonderful sense of the diverse environment and the rich tradition of storytelling which they stem from. This is a fabulous collection for home and for school, for independent reading and for sharing! – North Somerset Teacher’s Book Awards

Meet the Creators

The 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. (Fun game: Spot the award-winners and best-sellers. Hint: There are lots!)

The illustrator is Emmie van Biervliet (and just look at the art she creates!)

And helping out, providing vital logistical support, is the conservation research charity WildCru, part of Oxford University.

Book Details

Reading Age: 7-11 years
Extent: 160 pages
Book size: 15.6 x 23.4 cm
Pub Date: 30th November 2016
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-911373-06-3

Wall of Thanks

Here's where we thank all the brilliant supporters who made our book a reality. 

Aimee Layton • Amanda Grenville-Jones • Amanda Lloyd • Amanda Long • Amy Dickman • Amy Hinks • Amy-Jane Beer • Andrew Allen • Angus Forsyth • Anne Langdji • Anne Wilkinson • April Beckerleg • Arabella Warner • Ariella Binik • Ayse Mergenci • Barbara Taylor • Becky Dean • Bev Watts • Britt Kilian• Caitlin Kryss • Carina Laudemann • Caroline Wentzel • Cath Heinemeyer • Catherine Atkins • Catherine Donald • Cathy Fisher • Charlotte Whitham • Chloe Montes • Chris White • Christa Henrichs • Christopher Sandom • Christos Ampatzis • Christos Astaras • Christos Astaras • Claire Nathwani • Claire Salisbury • Clarissa Hofmann • Corine Timmer • Cristina Ariani • Darima Fotheringham • David Brazier • David Macdonald • Denis Kupsch • Denis Kupsch • Dora Antonakaki • Ellen Leffler • Elleni Vendras • Emily Beale • Emily Dunn • Emily Farren • Erik Krueger • Esther Horn • Finlay MacDougall-Mitchell • Gary Cleaverly • Geoff Hetherington • Hannah Penny • Hannah Sheppard • Helen Barker • Helen Perry • Henry Simms • Hilary Grime • Holly Smith • Howard Charlesworth • Ivan Beraha • James Clarke • James Noel • Jane Torday • Jane van Biervliet • Janina Schäfer • Jeanne Musgrove • Jen Meredith • Jen Spencer • Jennifer Seale • Jo Boyles • Jo Pearson • Joanna Bagniewska • Joanna Hughes • Joe Holdsworth • Joe Moorhouse • John Fulton • Jorgelina Marino • Julian Anderson • K.M.Lockwood • Kate Kilpatrick • Kate Nowak • Kate Poels • Katherine Player • Katherine Rundell • Kerstin Eppert • Kirsty Stanley • Kun Shi • Laura A Gardner • Lauren Harrington • Linda van Soest • Linn Kämereit • Lisa Heathfield • Liz Cross • Liz Porter • Liza Gadsby • Louisa Daubney • Louise Fletcher • Lucinda Tolhurst • Lucy Tallents • Lydia Jenderek • Mango Bubbles Books • Maria Michalopoulou • Marilyn Sloet • Mark Stanley Price • Mary Foulkes • Mary Hays • Matthew Good Foundation • Maureen Kelley • Melanie Barker • Merryl Parle-Gelling • Miriam Craig • Mirjam Bauer • Mrs Jill Harris • Mrs. J. Still • Muriel Reichmann • Natasha Whitelock • Neal Bailey • Neil D'Cruze • Nicola Worsnop • Norma Clarke • Oliver Van Biervliet • Paul Barnes • Paul Johnson • Pauline Pinkney • Pauline Thresh • Penny Boardman • Peter Bunzl • Polina Feldmann • Rachel Giacomantonio • Rachel Goddard • Rachel Saunders • Rebecca Ward • Rosie Salazar • Ross Montgomery • Ruth Horn • Ryan Samaroo • Sabine Little • Sacha Viquerat • Sally Croft • Sam Barnes • Sandra Baker • Sarah Laird • Sean Denny • Sean Edwards • Sebastian Gutierrez • SF Said • Sheila Rance • Sian Reid • Sibeal Pounder • Simon Pooley • Sofi Croft • Sonia Kmec • Sophie Adjalley • Stuart Everall • Su Ashe • Sue Gregory • Susan Brownrigg • Susan Idreos • Susanna Repo • Suzanne Dore • Tania Rittmann • Tania Tay • Theodore Astaras • Thomas Calvocoressi • Thomas Prey • Tom Downie • Torie Walton • Vasileios Antonopoulos • Victoria Lochhead • Victoria Williamson • Wendy Erb • Xaroula Kerasidou • Yü Chow