WHY GOATS SMELL BAD by Raouf Mama

WHY GOATS SMELL BAD

and Other Stories from Benin
adapted by & translated by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A storyteller from the small West African country of Benin has gathered 20 folktales from the Fon people, presented in competent language that is not as felicitous when read aloud. A few of the selections have parallels in familiar storiese.g., ``The Prince and the Orphan'' is a Cinderella variant, and ``How Yogbo the Glutton Met His Death'' is close to Eric Kimmel's version of Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock (1988, not reviewed)but most will be new to general readers, and include a lively array of kings and queens, orphans, talking animals, sages, fools, tricksters, contests, journeys, transformations, twists, and salutary lessons. That last appears in notes that close each story, and although Mama's sources remain anonymous, he discusses his additions (several of which are substantial), plus an occasional distinctive folk custom or belief. A wide-ranging collection from an understudied tradition with, as Mama points out, strong links to African cultures on both sides of the Atlantic. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Folklore. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1998
ISBN: 0-208-02469-7
Page count: 138pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998