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HUNGRY HYENA by Mwenye Hadithi


by Mwenye Hadithi & illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-316-33715-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

 Unlike Hadithi's many other animal tales about the meek outwitting the greedy, this is a rather mean-spirited story in which painful punishment is inflicted upon the entire hyena tribe in retaliation for a single hyena's theft of an eagle's dinner. (Tricked into believing that the moon is a honeycomb, they climb atop one another to reach it but topple into a lake, where Crocodile bites their tails and drives them away, never again to run like the wind.) Kennaway's paintings are more dramatic than ever, employing extreme closeups from varied points of view to pull readers into the action; on one page we're staring up into Hyena's jaws as he laps honey while on the next we soar high above the lake with Eagle. The art is strong enough to make this a favorite even among those thoughtful enough to recognize the story's fundamental injustice. (Picture book. 4-7)