Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is a children's book written and illustrated by John Steptoe.
Both of Mufaro's daughters are beautiful but Manyara is bad tempered and Nyasha is kind. When the king of the land asks the daughters to appear before him so he can choose a queen, Manyara decides to set out in the night so she can get there first. Along the path are many opportunities to show one's true character. Nyasha who follows the same path the next day makes different decisions - with different results and a surprising ending!
"Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters" by John Steptoe provides examples of:
- Beauty = Goodness: Subverted with Manyara, played straight with Nyasha.
- Gender Bender: The king poses as an old woman as part of the Secret Test of Character he gives the girls.
- Jerkass: Manyara, BIG time.
- Missing Mom: The girls have a father, but no mother is ever mentioned.
- Parental Favoritism: Nyasha is Mufaro's favorite daughter.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The king gives one to Manyara while in the form of a five-headed snake.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The king uses his shapeshifting powers to test the girls.
- Secret Test of Character: The king gives both Manyara and Nyasha one, in order to see which daughter is worthy to be his wife.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Nyasha is good and kind, while Manyara is bad-tempered and proud.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The king possesses this power.