THE TORTOISE'S TUG OF WAR by Giulio -- Retold by Maestro

THE TORTOISE'S TUG OF WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on a South American variant of the familiar African tale, this casual adaptation casts a tortoise as the playful trickster who separately challenges two large animals (here a whale and a tapir) to a tug-of-war, then surreptitiously sets them to pulling against each other until each concedes exhaustion. The writing, while agreeable enough, is neither here nor there, ranging instead from ""Hey, Whale"" and ""O, come on"" to the untranslated word ""sipo"" for the vine Tortoise uses as his rope. But it's the lush pictures that predominate, and in fact the backgrounds -- especially a spectacular deep blue sea -- quite subordinate Tortoise's cleverness to the artist's performance. It's all visually opulent -- but verbally Peggy Appiah's version in Ananse the Spider (1966) pulls more weight.

Publisher: Bradbury