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TUKAMA TOOTLES THE FLUTE by Phillis Gershator

TUKAMA TOOTLES THE FLUTE

A Tale from the Antilles

By Phillis Gershator (Adaptor) , Synthia Saint James (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06811-0
Publisher: Orchard

 From St. Thomas, a cautionary tale about a heedless boy who narrowly escapes being eaten by a two-headed giant when he beguiles the giant's wife with his music. The story will need introducing, since neither title nor jacket painting hint of the drama within; it's a wonderful read- or tell-aloud, with colloquial dialogue, lots of repetition, and a satisfying symmetry in the way Tukama is lured, step by step, into the giant's clutches (``Get on my big toe, and play that song for me again.'' ``Jump on my knee.'' ``Climb up on my chest, and play that song louder''), and then, bit by bit, persuades the giant's wife to let him out of the bag in which he's imprisoned. Tukama's bouncy little songs are repeated so often that listeners will quickly learn them. Saint James's oil paintings combine large areas of bold, uninflected color, figures with featureless faces, and parallel brushstrokes suggesting palm fronds, light-flecked ocean billows, and jumbled rocks. An outstanding introduction to a less well-known folklore. Endnote on sources and local references. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-7)