Written by Mark Ampaw and George Roberts
Illustrated by Jeremy Salmon
Published by Brainchild Publications
The Fall of Snow is a children’s fantasy adventure picture book for children aged 5-8 years old. It tells the story of a young boy who wakes up to see snow for the first time in his life and the adventures that he, his sister and their friends get up to once they build some snow people. The story brings together the excitement of new discoveries, the energy and enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom of the boy’s grandfather in a fun journey. The children learn courage, sacrifice and how to overcome hurdles all within this story.
Brainchild Publication was founded by British-born Ghanaians, Mark Ampaw and George Roberts, the co-authors of The Fall of Snow. Their aim is to assist children with the raw materials that they need in order to be successful in life, which they see as: creativity, self-belief and co-operation. Mark and George believe that these three elements are essential in allowing young children to think out of the box and grow up inspired to change the world for the better.
The Fall of Snow is their maiden publication and seeks to encourage children and parents to explore their imagination and creativity together. The publishers’ motto is “To change the world, change your perception”, an endeavor they undertake with this book.
Where did the idea come from?
While George comes from a technology background and Mark from an electrical background, and both have a love for Afrikan history and culture. The original idea for the book came to them in 2007, while they were discussing the challenges they experienced as British-born Ghanaians and the elements of their culture, such as language and proverbs, that had been lost as a result of not being born on the continent. For them, this meant that they had to be intentional regarding learning about themselves and their history.
At that time there was not a lot of positive imagery about black people in the media, particularly in the fantasy genre, where anything is possible. They started to brainstorm solutions for all of this and The Fall of Snow was one of the resulting ideas. They wanted the story to have a moral, just as Afrikan stories of old, relaying wisdom via fantasy. Initially, they had envisioned the story as a cartoon, but opted to start off with a book. The pair are about to release their second book, A Night at the Circus, which they term, ‘a modern folktale told in rhyme’.
Challenges and Reception
The Fall of Snow has been received well by children in the UK who like the characters and enjoy the story. The book does well in the winter in the UK, due in part to it being the gifting season and in part the nature of the story. The publishers say that the biggest challenge in the UK market for all independent authors of Afrikan children’s books is visibility to the target market. Their target market is the children, however, it is the parents who purchase the book, so both of them need to be present when the publishers are selling the book. This has been a greater challenge in the past year with the restrictions around Covid 19 and the reduction in physical events where the publisher-author duo can present the book.
In future, they hope to enter the Afrikan market, as moral based storytelling has always been a centerpiece of our culture on the continent and something that should not be lost.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.