THE MONKEY AND THE CROCODILE
A Jataka Tale From India
The Jataka tale of the monkey who twice outwits the predatory crocodile, first by pretending that he keeps his tastiest part, his heart, in a tree, then by persuading him to be a talking rock (and so reveal his whereabouts), is amusing enough but no better as a picture book until you reach his last laugh: feigning a jump into the crocodile's wide-open mouth -- and knowing that the crocodile will have to close his eyes -- he pounces on the crocodile's head, springs across to the fiver bank and gets home free to his tree. The pictures are overlarge for close viewing but they'll show to good effect at a distance. And some of it is worth seeing.