MA'II AND COUSIN HORNED TOAD: A Traditional Navajo Story by Shonto Begay

MA'II AND COUSIN HORNED TOAD: A Traditional Navajo Story

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Coyote trickster Ma'ii, always hungry, sets out to inveigle some corn from his cousin. At first, Horned Toad is obliging, but as Ma'ii grows more importunate, the toad grows angry; and when Ma'ii schemes to get the entire cornfield for himself by pretending he has corn stuck in his teeth and needs Horned Toad to pick it out, his plot backfires: swallowed whole, the toad declares himself well suited with his cozy new home--meanwhile poking, exploring, and taunting until he makes his escape. ""And even to this day, Ma'ii leaves his cousin Horned Toad alone."" The retelling by Navajo artist Begay (The Mud Pony, 1988) is engagingly relaxed in style, yet lively with incident and dialogue that reads especially well aloud. His handsome mixed media art, with dappled backgrounds in natural tones that suggest the rocks of the Southwest, deftly combines elements of real animals and traditional representations in animated compositions that help propel the narrative. An excellent presentation of an entertaining story. Author's note; glossary of Navajo words.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic