Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JACKAL'S FLYING LESSON by Verna Aardema

JACKAL'S FLYING LESSON

A Khoikhoi Tale

By Verna Aardema (Adaptor) , Dale Gottlieb (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-85813-X
Publisher: Knopf

 A sly jackal gets his comeuppance in this bland tale from southwest Africa. Terrified by Jackal's empty threats, a mother dove throws her babies out of the nest to be gobbled up. Crane exacts revenge; offering to teach Jackal to fly, she sticks a few feathers to him, carries him up into the sky, and drops him. The baby doves pop out unharmed, and Jackal slinks off to the river to wash off. Gottlieb's rounded, expressive animal figures are rendered with appealingly simple, flowing brushwork, but young readers will be shocked to see a mother throwing her children away and are unlikely to find Jackal's punishment--which amounts to minor discomfiture- -particularly amusing. Insensitive at best; Aardema (Misoso, 1994, etc.) generally chooses better. Stick with Gerald McDermott's Coyote or Tololwa Mollel's Flying Tortoise (both 1994). (glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)