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TRAVELING TO TONDO by Verna Aardema Kirkus Star

TRAVELING TO TONDO

A Tale of the Nkundo of Zaire

By Verna Aardema

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1990
Publisher: Knopf

Bowane arranges to marry another civet cat. Journeying from his village to hers for the wedding ("ika-o, ika-o"), he is joined by three other animals, each making its own engaging sound as it follows along. The others wait patiently while Bowane goes back for his drinking bowl, which sets a precedent: later, they alt wait while the pigeon's acorns: ripen and then while the boa digests a large meal; they even wait until a log that the tortoise can't climb over rots. The bridge, however, has been less patient: she has another husband and children by the time Bowano finally arrives. "Sometimes between friends there is too much consenting." Delightfully understated humor and intriguing repetitions that invite audience participation make this a perfect tale for telling. The illustrations here are also outstanding: rich earth colors loosely enclosed by rough-edged black line, the animals stylized yet lively and humorously expressive. This seems to be Hillenbrand's picturebook debut; it's well worth noting.