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THE FLYING TORTOISE by Tololwa M. Mollel

THE FLYING TORTOISE

adapted by Tololwa M. Mollel & illustrated by Barbara Spurll

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-68845-0
Publisher: Clarion

 The oft-told tale of how Tortoise cracked his shell gets a fresh and funny look in this Nigerian (Igbo) version from the author and illustrator of Rhinos For Lunch And Elephants For Supper! (1992). When the king of Skyland invites all earthdwellers to a feast, Mbeku the tortoise tricks the birds--once into contributing feathers for a magnificent set of wings, then again into letting him gobble down all the food. He almost tricks them a third time, persuading them to build a cushion to land on when he jumps back to earth--but Sparrow hears him gloating, and the ``cushion'' turns out to be a shell-shattering pile of rocks, bones, and tree stumps. Mollel tells the story in a lively, informal way, without sound effects or colloquialisms; Spurll's animated, brightly-colored animals recall Janet Stevens's-- especially huge Mbeku, with his gleaming carapace and exaggeratedly crafty expression. A broad, spirited rendition. (Picture book. 6-8)