AFRICAN ANIMAL TALES by Rogerio Andrade Barbosa


by & illustrated by & translated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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 Ten fables featuring rivals outsmarted, deftly delivered lessons, and sparkling humor, collected and retold (originally in Portuguese) by a UN worker in Guinea-Bissau. Ever wonder ``Why Dogs Sniff Each Other''? A canine king is still looking for his perfumed messenger, who went off to seek a mate rather than deliver a declaration of war. ``The Cat and the Rat'' are ever enemies because once, in a flood, Rat couldn't stop nibbling on their cassava raft. Like the mosquito in Aardema's Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, ``The Considerate Fly'' sets off a chain of calamities--but unlike the mosquito, she confesses and is pardoned. Guthrie's prose is conventional, without sound effects or other oral devices, but it reads aloud well, and Fittipaldi's stylized, Afro-Cubist figures dance and gesticulate energetically (people, in traditional Yoruba dress, appear as often as animals). A lively companion to Courlander's Cow-Tail Switch, Arkhurst's Adventures of Spider, and other collections of West African folktales. Afterword from the translator. (Folklore. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-912078-96-0
Page count: 64pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1993


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