Although the language of the originals seems to have been oversimplified (there are no notes or sources given), these ten...

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COUNTING LEOPARD'S SPOTS: Animal Stories from Africa

Although the language of the originals seems to have been oversimplified (there are no notes or sources given), these ten retellings about African animals--how the gluttonous zebra got its vulgar stripes, how the boastful hippo lost his silken hair and acquired his nocturnal habits, and more--remain thoroughly entertaining. The stories frequently hinge--as is appropriate for the genre--on some weakness of character (the witless lion, the tortoise without self-respect, the thieving monkey) that manifests itself as bad behavior or foolishness, so that the endings ring with a sense of just deserts, and, in some cases, border just this side of smug. The token trickster tale features a jackal, who pulls a fast one to reclaim the fruit of the Muula Tree. Warnes has an impressive knack for summoning the African landscape in expressive forms and very few colors.

Pub Date: June 20, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Little Tiger

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1998