The eleven stories collected here are probably easier to read aloud than they are to tell because the use of the present tense and the swing or lilt of the author's retelling would be hard to approximate. Zomo is, according to the publisher's note, a ""...disreputable but authentic character of African folklore."" He's got all the sly and lazy charm of Brer Rabbit but he came originally from Northern Nigeria and moves in a world of jungle animals. The publishers say that a literal translation of the originals would be too lurid and awkward because so much of the story is acted out by the traditional tellers. Zomo, as he has been re-rendered here, is genuinely funny. His greatest efforts go into avoiding work or trouble and he is a masterful psychologist in his encounters with the stuffy Zaki, the king lion, and the other animals whose personalities reflect their known characteristics. The ink sketches of Peter Warner are finely drawn and full of the humor of the stories.