OH, KOJO! HOW COULD YOU! by Verna Aardema


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Aardema and Brown (What's So Funny, Ketu?)strike African gold again. Aardema has tightened and heightened one of her old Ananse tales (from The Na of Wa); Brown gives it a bright, clear projection--like hers, at once stylized and expressive. It's the sotry of childless Tutuola, who goes to the River-that-Gurgles-Ponpon-ponPONsa to ask for a son. ""You shall have a son,"" the River Spirit replies. ""But he will not like to work. He will only like to spend your money. However, one day he will repay you."" The son, Kojo, is an easy mark for Ananse the trickster. Seeing Ananse's dog fetch a stick, hearing that the dog's ""an African Wood Hound,"" Kojo buys him--to Tutuola's unsurprised disgust. So it goes with Ananse's cat, who catches only his pet rat. But Ananse's snail-hunting dove turns out to be ""not such a bad bargain after all."" Kojo returns her to the dove kingdom, as directed, and gets the promised magic ring--with which he becomes the rich chief of a new village, and once again Ananse's prey. How he loses and retrieves the ring is also a story of why eats get better care than dogs: the last amusing fillip of a snappy run of comical incidents. Perfect for story-hours and kids accustomed generally to TV graphics.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1984
Publisher: Dial