Books by Verna Aardema

KOI AND THE KOLA NUTS by Verna Aardema
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"In Cepeda's vibrant illustrations, the Liberian landscape glistens and its people dance across the page, while the last scene—of Koi as a chief—is a portrait of ebullience rewarded. (glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
An irrepressible youth turns a missed opportunity into good fortune in this frenetic retelling of an African folktale from Aardema (This for That, 1997, etc.). Read full book review >
THIS FOR THAT by Verna Aardema
adapted by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Victoria Chess
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"This rewrite Westernizes the tale as do the illustrations—the portrayal of Africans borders on stereotypical, and the landscape is fairly flat and nondescript—derogating the origins of the material. (Picture book/folklore. 6-10)"
 In this Tonga tale from Aardema (The Lonely Lioness and the Ostrich Chicks, p. 1318, etc.), a rabbit connives and trades with her friends for a drink of water, only to discover that a lie ``may travel far, but the truth will overtake it.'' The book opens when Rabbit tries to sneak a drink of water from a hole she didn't help dig. Read full book review >
THE LONELY LIONESS AND THE OSTRICH CHICKS by Verna Aardema
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Unique compositions and perspectives, combined with a subdued palette that uses all the greens, golds, and ochres of the grasslands, challenge existing geometric notions of African art. (Picture book/folklore. 3-8)"
 A lonely lioness and a resolute mother ostrich take center stage among a cast of African animal characters in this model Aardema retelling of a Masai folktale. Read full book review >
JACKAL'S FLYING LESSON by Verna Aardema
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 1995

"Stick with Gerald McDermott's Coyote or Tololwa Mollel's Flying Tortoise (both 1994). (glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)"
 A sly jackal gets his comeuppance in this bland tale from southwest Africa. Read full book review >
MISOSO by Verna Aardema
adapted by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Reynold Ruffins
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 3, 1994

"Read this book once for the stories, twice for the illustrations, and a hundred times just for fun. (Folklore/Stories. 5-10)"
 A treasure. Read full book review >
ANANSI FINDS A FOOL by Verna Aardema
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Just right for reading or telling. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9)"
 In Kimmel's version of this Ashanti tale (Anansi Goes Fishing, p. 612), the trickster-hero is a spider; here, he's a lazy man who wants to trick his friend Bonsu into fishing for him. Read full book review >
BORREGUITA AND THE COYOTE by Verna Aardema
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"A fine story; outstanding illustrations. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9)"
 Borreguita is a little lamb who manages to trick the coyote who wants to eat her not just three but four deliciously satisfying times: she suggests that she'll grow if he waits; she describes the moon's reflection as a cheese, so that he jumps into a pond; she cajoles him into taking her place ``hold[ing] up this mountain'' while she goes for help; and, finally, she bravely volunteers to jump right into the coyote's mouth so that he can swallow her in one gulp—with the result that poor Coyote, his teeth aching, vows to leave the wily lamb alone henceforth. Read full book review >
TRAVELING TO TONDO by Verna Aardema
Released: Feb. 10, 1990

Bowane arranges to marry another civet cat. Read full book review >
RABBIT MAKES A MONKEY OF LION by Verna Aardema

At every turn, poor Lion is outwitted by cunning Rabbit and her friends in this Swahili trickster tale. Read full book review >