Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story

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9780382391644: Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story
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After teaching his son how to find honey by following the honey guide bird, an African father insists that they thank the bird by sharing some of the honey with it

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3?A succinct, beautifully packaged story. Young Juma and his father, Bakari, follow a honey guide through the African grassland, past grazing animals and hazy mountains, finally recovering a fine honeycomb to which the little bird has led them. When Juma is reluctant to leave a piece behind for the bird (a customary offering of thanks), Bakari uses a bit of drama to convince the boy. Bennett's colored-pencil and pastel illustrations done in a skillful crosshatch technique offer a series of spectacular drawings whose softness, depth, and perspective add immeasurably to the story. The scenery is drawn in such a way that larger, detailed people and animals in the foreground stand out when viewed from afar like well-focused photographs. While shades of sienna and umber dominate in skin tones and trees, in the dried thatch of the huts and the dry grass of the African plain, touches of green, blue, and yellow provide color and interest in each scene. In lifelike closeups, the artist captures both character and likeness between Juma and Bakari. The delicate balance of brief, lyrical text and strong illustrations leaves readers with a feeling of having eavesdropped on a father-son outing. Five (defined) Swahili words are included in the story. Pair this lovely book with April Sayre's If You Should Hear a Honey Guide (Ticknor & Fields, 1995) and Francesca Martin's The Honey Hunters (Candlewick, 1992).?Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In this story set among the Dorobo tribe in Africa, a father and his son follow the bird known as the honey guide out of the village, through the tall yellow grass, past friendly wildlife to a nest full of honey. The father, or baba, smokes out the bees, knocks the hive from the tree, and shares the honey with his son, then breaks off a part of the honeycomb for the bird. Juma complains that the piece is too big: ``I think we should take it all home.'' His father explains that it would be selfish to do that, but Juma remains unconvinced until Baba threatens him: In the future, the angry bird might lead Juma to a hungry lion instead of honey. Juma complies with his father's wishes. This is an amiable tale, even if the moral seems to be ``share or else.'' The language is stilted and lacks the lyrical quality of April Pulley Sayre's If You Should Hear a Honey Guide (1995), but full-bleed drawings in gold and brown capture the breadth of the habitat. The father and son, bronzed and muscled, are powerfully modeled and distinctive. An author's note gives more information on this unusual bird. (glossary) (Picture book. 7-10) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Robin Bernard
Published by Silver Pr (1996)
ISBN 10: 0382391640 ISBN 13: 9780382391644
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Robin Bernard, Nneka Bennett (Illustrator)
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