THE TALKING VEGETABLES by Won-Ldy Paye

THE TALKING VEGETABLES

Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a lightly buffed up version of a Dan tale first offered in their Why Leopard Has Spots (1998), a Liberian storyteller and his co-writer gently tweak a lazy trickster. Spider repeatedly refuses to join his neighbors as they band together to clear, plant and weed the collective farm. Nonetheless, he later goes out to claim a share of the harvest to supplement his diet of plain rice—and the vegetables themselves indignantly drive him away: “You <\b>didn’t help make the farm. Go away!” <\b>In playful, semi-abstract illustrations, stylized figures float across monochrome backgrounds. The sinuous, deep black spider’s fellow villagers are all animals decked out in bright colors and patterns (a blue elephant, a checkerboard crocodile), and Paschkis gives the garden vegetables large, comically offended expressions. There’s no explicit moral, but the point’s not going to escape many readers. A good choice for group sharing—along with, say, Angela Shelf Medearis’s Too Much Talk (1995), illus by Stefano Vitale, or any version of “The Little Red Hen.” (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8050-7742-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2006




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