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MEE-AN AND THE MAGIC SERPENT by Baba Wagué Diakité

MEE-AN AND THE MAGIC SERPENT

By Baba Wagué Diakité (Author) , Baba Wagué Diakité (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-88899-719-1
Publisher: Groundwood

Tales of humans marrying animals are known in many countries, and this example from the West African country of Mali will delight readers and listeners with its touches of humor. Mee-An will only consent to wed an extremely handsome man, and the one who meets her stringent requirements turns out to be a serpent in disguise. Her younger sister, with magical powers of her own, saves her from the serpent’s evil plot to eat them both. The writer and artist of this folktale is well known for his down-to-earth renditions of traditional tales from his homeland. He dedicates the book to his grandmother, from whom he “heard his first stories,” but does not provide any further background on this particular story, as he has done in his other books. The small square format echoes the shape of the ceramic tiles painted in Diakité’s unique style, but the rich details of the clothing, the houses, the villagers’ activities, the flora and the fauna will be lost in a group presentation. Combining elements of a pourquoi story and a cautionary tale, this is an enjoyable work, but not the author-illustrator’s best. (Folklore. 6-9)