I had hoped my picture book would include a note by David Wisniewski on his marvelous illustrations and their cultural background. In lieu of that, here are a few remarks relayed to me by the book’s original editor, Susan Pearson, as we worked on the book.—Aaron
I’ve talked again with David, this time about his sources. They are
Cultures of the World: Nigeria, by Patricia Levy (Marshall Cavendish)
Nigeria: A Country Study (Library of Congress Federal Research Division)
The World Book Encyclopedia
The hats are called kufi hats, and David says they are worn by any Islamic male. Most of the men would wear robes, but if robed we can’t see Master Man’s muscles, so no robes. Shettu is drawn after the cover photo of Cultures of the World: Nigeria—heavy jewelry, style of earrings and bracelets are authentic. Her costume is on the modern side. Master Man #2’s wife is dressed like a Fulani. David tells me that the Hausa and Fulani have intermarried for years and are proud of their mixed cultures.