Kende! Kende! Kende!

Written by Kirsten Cappy and Yaya Gentille
Illustrated by Rahana Daria
Published by Child's Play

Coming Fall 2024
Art Not Final

Lolie’s childhood in a village north of Kinshasa is filled with laughter and curiosity. When fighting nears the village, Lolie helps load the wheelbarrow and the family flees as fast as her pregnant Mamá can walk. Lolie distracts herself on the journey by observing how bicycles and trucks move and by helping baby Nico be born “right there on four wheels.” In their years in a refugee camp, Lolie’s responsibilities grow as does baby Nico’s ability to restore the family’s laughter. Resettled in the US, the family awakes to a blizzard and the realization that Mamá, again pregnant, must go to the hospital. The family makes another journey through the unknown, relying on new words and a community of Mamás to help them kende, kende, kende.

Written in both French and English with action words in Lingala, the book is a tribute to the way Central Africans move through many languages to build community and to navigate migration.



NOTE: This picture book is co-authored by I’m Your Neighbor Books Executive Director Kirsten Cappy. She has not and will not financially gain from this book. All book advances (funds given when a book is sold to a publisher) and royalties (% of sales) are directed to co-author Yaya Gentille and illustrator Rhana Daria. Any possible speaking or school visits fees associated with the book will be directed to I’m Your Neighbor Books to fulfill our mission.

The inclusion of this book in I’m Your Neighbor Books’ curated Welcoming Library collections is the final decision of the Welcoming Library recipient. Additionally, the book’s position as a core title in Welcoming Library collections was reviewed by an independent group of immigrant community members and children’s book professionals to confirm that the book respectfully represents the Central African immigrant community and that it is not being used over any other book more deserving of the placement. Its position will be reviewed annually to assess whether any potential books are a stronger match for I’m Your Neighbor Books’ Welcoming Library.

Primary ISBN:
Publication Date: September 2024
Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Age 04 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , ,

Setting: DRC, Uganda, United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Refugee or Asylee, Refugee Camp

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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