THE SINGING TORTOISE by John Yeoman

THE SINGING TORTOISE

And Other Animal Folktales
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 With origins as far-flung as Papua New Guinea, Africa's Gold Coast, and Spain, 11 tales ranging from simple stories of the weak outwitting the strong (``The Cat and the Mice'' from Tibet; ``The Rabbit and the Elephants'' from India) and trickster and pourquoi tales to complex stories of boons granted by animals to humans (``Animal Language'' from Serbia) and the promises made (or broken) in return (the Zu§i Pueblo's ``The Turkey Girl'' is a Cinderella cognate with an unhappy ending). Western animal stereotypes are often inverted here: Elephants are foolish or timorous; turkeys have magical powers; snakes are magnanimous and just; a turtle is a thief. Recast in a uniform literary style, the stories lack the immediacy of colloquial storytelling but are nonetheless effective when read aloud. The ``twittery mice'' of Mouse Trouble (an earlier Yeoman/Blake collaboration), the tortoise from Esio Trot, and other comical creatures make welcome returns in Blake's dashing illustrations. A note comments on the tales' places of origin without citing specific sources. (Folklore. 7+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-13366-5
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1994




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