JUDGE RABBIT AND THE TREE SPIRIT by Lina Mao Wall

JUDGE RABBIT AND THE TREE SPIRIT

A Folktale from Cambodia
by & adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A young couple's peace is destroyed when the husband is commanded to join the king's defense of their country. Overhearing his sorrow, a tree spirit decides to impersonate the young man and comfort his wife. All goes well until, months later, the husband comes home and the wife finds it impossible to tell which man is her true husband. At first, the rabbit judge decrees that--since the two are indistinguishable--all three must live together. Later, he comes up with a trickier solution: only the real husband will be able to fit in a little bottle, he mendaciously alleges; the spirit quickly complies and is caught. A note explains that Judge Rabbit stories provide a role model for Cambodian children: the good judge is self-confident and intelligent, yet also gentle and kind. Children may be unaware of the implicit message, but they'll enjoy the unusual story--especially its satisfying conclusion. A plus: the Khmer text is included, nicely integrated into the bright, strongly decorative illustrations. A good picture book for any collection, with special appeal for multicultural use or with immigrant populations. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-89239-071-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Children's Book Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991