The Elephant's Wrestling Match

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9780525673668: The Elephant's Wrestling Match

A retelling of a folktale of Cameroon, Africa, follows the elephant as he challenges all the other animals in the jungle--the she-leopard, the crocodile, the rhino, and others--to combat.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 2-- When mighty elephant challenges all the animals, great and small, to a wrestling match, monkey announces the challenge on his talking drum. The leopard, crocodile, and rhinoceros all respond, only to be easily thwarted by the mighty beast. Each time, monkey beats out the results on the drum. Finally, the bat, small but clever, defeats him. When monkey beats out the news, the enraged elephant smashes his drum. That is why to this day, the story tells readers, ``you don't see monkeys playing the talking drum.'' Although the themes in this folktale from Cameroon are familiar, what makes this fine version unusual is that it offers many of the best elements of storytelling. Young listeners will certainly anticipate elephant's imminent downfall the moment the tiny bat arrives on the scene, yet this enhances rather than detracts from the enjoyment of the tale. Through simple, rhythmic language, Sierra creates an effect that is quite sophisticated. Listeners can almost hear the beating of the drum. Furthermore, the text's repetitive and cumulative nature invites audiences to join in. In his splendid scratchboard drawings, Pinkney brings just enough expression to the faces of the animals to add texture to the tale without distracting from the overall feeling of oral tradition at work. The illustrations are large and brightly evocative of the African savannah, making this book a fine choice for group sharing. --Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

When "the mighty elephant" challenges all animal comers to a wrestling match (" 'No one,' he roared, 'can bring me down!' "), monkey sends out the message on his talking drum. A she-leopard makes the first attempt, but she's felled with a gentle tap of the elephant's enormous foot. A crocodile fails next, belly-stroked to sleep by the elephant's trunk. Even the rhino, with a brave charge, manages only to bring elephant down on top of him. Finally, in a classic display of brains over brawn, a tiny bat takes on the challenge and wins. Sierra's staccato retelling of this lively African tale crackles with energy, a vitality neatly matched by Pinkney's ( Sukey and the Mermaid ; The Boy and the Ghost ) sweeping, dramatic scratchboard illustrations. A winning addition to the folktale shelf. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Judy Sierra, Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
Published by Dutton Juvenile (1992)
ISBN 10: 0525673660 ISBN 13: 9780525673668
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