Meet Your Neighbors Storybox: North and West Africa

Meet your neighbors story box

Inspiration.  As our neighborhoods grow more diverse, our community is enriched by new voices, different experiences, and unique perspectives.

Recognizing this, WDMCS Community Education partnered with West Des Moines Public Library to create the Meet Your Neighbors Story Boxes. Each Story Box focuses on a different cultural group found in our WDMCS neighborhoods. We believe that shared stories, food, crafts, music, and activities can foster understanding across differences and help us be good neighbors to all who make the West Des Moines area their home.

What You’ll Find Inside

Inside each Story Box, you’ll find both fiction and nonfiction books, music, and a reading and listening guide you can use at home or in your classroom. You can also explore expansion activities and resources online.

While not every country, culture, or experience is represented in this Story Box, we hope the included books will serve as an entry point for learning. If you have suggestions about how we might better represent the experiences of our neighbors in different regions around the world, please visit the website listed above and fill out our feedback form.

We hope these Story Boxes will be useful tools to engage young children with materials that reflect their experience, as well as invite the whole community to learn from our neighbors both near and far.

Story Boxes are available for checkout at the West Des Moines Public Library.

Created in partnership by WDMCS Community Education and the West Des Moines Public Library.



  • Introducing Africa by Chris Oxlade
  • Living in Egypt by Chole Perkins
  • All aboard for the Bobo Road by Stephen Davies
  • Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunanne
  • Grandad Mandela by Zindzi Mandela
  • One plastic bag : Isagou Ceesay and the recycling women of the Gambia by Mirandu Paul
  • My beautiful birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo
  • This is how we do it by Matt Lamothe
  • Refugees and migrants by Ceri Roberts
  • The water princess by Susan Verde
  • Emmanuel's dream: the true story of Emmuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls
  • Amadi's snowman by Katia Novet Saint-Lot
  • My granny went to market by Stella Blackstone and Christopher Corr
  • Putumayo Kids presents: Kids African Party (music CD)
  • Materials packet


  • Egypt
  • Burkina Faso
  • Nigeria
  • Mauritania
  • Ghana
  • Syria
  • Gambia