The Bouba and Zaza series “Childhood Cultures”, an intergenerational African series of children's books, freely examines serious subjects. Its stories are set in contemporary African society and portray early childhood and its problems. The publishers have adopted an educational approach, using fiction to examine the questions children may ask themselves and the answers they need.
Among the themes chosen are: AIDS; Children in an emergency situation (sexual abuse); The culture of peace and non-violence (scars left by war); Accepting difference, tolerance (living with a disability); Children faced with natural disasters; Protection of the environment; Identity, cultural identity; Remembering to say “thank you”; Respect for elder people and respect for each other; The importance of water; Safety, protection (the dangers of the street and domestic risks); Hygiene, health and diet.
The concept of “Bouba and Zaza” was developed by ADEA's Working Group on Early Childhood Development and UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar, in collaboration with education specialists in Africa from ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa) and UNESCO, the Publisher Michel Lafon Education and African illustrators.