THE LEOPARD'S DRUM by Jessica Souhami


An Asante Tale from West Africa
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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 The leopard makes a huge drum; the Sky-God, Nyame, offers to reward the animal who can get it for him. The snake, the elephant, and the monkey try and fail, but the turtle--who has a soft shell- -tricks the leopard into climbing inside the drum, and delivers it to the Sky-God; as a reward, the Sky-God gives her a hard shell. Souhami (Old MacDonald, p. 142, etc.) has created a wonderful read-aloud; the text is full of rhythmic phrases, symmetries, and repetitions. But if this tale of an arrogant animal and his satisfying comeuppance dances to the rhythm of the text, the illustrator's eye is as sharp as the author's ear. Kaleidoscopic cut-paper collages of jungle scenes have a white background and black trees; by contrast, the animals are sleek and colorful. Patterns that suggest a stylized kente cloth cloak Nyame and the endpapers. A vibrant work. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-316-80466-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1996


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