Songs on the Vanilla Trail

Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from East and Southern Africa

  Listen to an excerpt



Songs collected by Nathalie Soussana Musical Arrangements by Jean-Christophe Hoarau Illustrations by Magali Attiogbé

An enchanting collection of 25 traditional songs pays homage to the rich cultural heritage and multilingual communities of East and Southern Africa. The resulting highly mixed musical styles that are unique to each region demonstrate how they welcomed new horizons through contact with others. A wide array of styles—skipping rope songs from Mozambique, lullabies from South Africa, counting songs from Réunion, traditional dance tunes from Madagascar—are all performed exquisitely by men, women, and children in more than a dozen languages and dialects. Vibrant compelling artwork and homegrown instruments, such as the tube zither, the kayamb, the bobre, the segakordeon, and ravanne drums round off this wonderful celebration of history, language, and culture.

Lyrics appear transcribed in their original language and translated to English followed by extensive notes describing the cultural background of each song and a map of East and Southern Africa. This picture book is accompanied by a CD featuring 25 recorded songs along with unique code for the digital download of the audio.

MUSICAL PICTURE BOOK 978-2-925108-70-2
Pub Date: 2021
Ages: 3 to 7 / Grades Pre-K to 3
Keywords: Africa / Musical Traditions / Maternity / Community
Hardcover book (8” x 8”, 80 pages) with CD (43 minutes / 25 recordings) and unique digital code for MP3 download
$ 22.95 CND / $ 16.95 USD 19.50 €

Nathalie Soussana has written several musicals and created the Parents' Choice Gold Award-winning albums “Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Cocounut Trees” and “Songs from the Garden of Eden.”

Jean-Christophe Hoarau has worked with musicians like Richard Galliano and Georges Moustaki, and he's been awarded many times the Grand Prix Charles-Cros in France.

Magali Attiogbé was born in Atakpamé, Togo and moved to France at the age of 3. In 2002, she obtained an illustration degree at the highly respected École Estienne in Paris and has since illustrated children’s books for several French publishing houses, including Flammarion, Gallimard and Nathan.


80-page illustrated hardcover book, 8″ X 8″ format, with an appended music CD containing 25 songs (43 minutes) and a download code to access MP4 files.

$22.95 PrixRead more