I don't review books I don't like!
*****= An all-time favorite
The Lion of Mali
by Kephra Burns
illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon
Gulliver Books, 2001. 64 pages.
This is a fairy tale based on the history of the kingdom of Mali. The words and the pictures are beautiful and feel full of wisdom. An excellent story.
The picture book format adds to the book, adding impact and majesty to the words. However, from experience I know that it’s an awkward format to get kids to check out. Once kids can read chapter books, they don’t usually pick picture books any more. However, the story is too long for the usual picture book crowd. This would be a good book for sharing with a 1st to 3rd grade child, only it might take a couple of sittings to finish it.
Here's a website with much more information about the king Mansa Musa: