Following in the footsteps of Aesop, Ricahard O. Marsh’s (ROM) debut early reader presents an amusing reminder that what goes around comes around.
Under the shade of an African mahogany tree, near a large watering hole in the middle of the Okavango Delta, there lives a wise, friendly tortoise. The tortoise is on sociable terms with the numerous animals species that come to drink at the watering hole—elephants, giraffes, monkeys and lions included. When the tortoise receives an unexpected dinner invitation from a young, cocky baboon, he eagerly treks all the way to the baboon’s palm tree home. However, the baboon refuses to come down from the top of the palm tree with all the delicious food. The tortoise, obviously unable to climb the tree, is forced to make a long and hungry journey back home. After giving it some thought, the clever tortoise decides the baboon should be taught a lesson. He enlists the assistance of the other animals, all of whom dislike the loud and obnoxious baboon. The elephants, giraffes, monkeys, and even the cranky honey badger and quiet bushman agree to help the tortoise. A happy cabal is formed as the residents of the Okavango Delta set out to cleverly teach the baboon a lesson on respect and manners. Vundi, a safari guide and native of the Bantu tribe, learned the tale from his grandfather and later passed it on to ROM. It’s a gentle reminder to treat others with respect and dignity, though the story also provides insight into the personalities and mannerisms of a variety of African animals. Colorful photographs are peppered throughout the book, accompanying ROM’s vivid descriptions. The moral of the story is clearly conveyed, and ROM’s fable serves as a wonderful teaching resource. Children will enjoy the simple yet engaging narrative while parents will appreciate the values it upholds and lessons it delivers.
A sweet story that takes on life’s bigger lessons.