When Tukama is captured by a two-headed giant and held prisoner by the giant's wife, he uses his flute to escape
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Kindergarten-Grade 2-Tukama loves to play the flute, so much that he cannot be counted on to help his grandmother with the chores. Even worse, he does not return until late, causing her to worry. She tells him that a two-headed giant will one day carry him away, but, of course, he does not heed her warning. The giant does come, however, and takes the boy to his home where he keeps him in a bag, planning to fatten him up to eat him. But when the giant is away, Tukama charms his wife with his flute playing and escapes. Having learned his lesson, the boy obeys his grandmother, but continues to play his favorite song after he does his work. This tale, with its parallels to "Jack and the Beanstalk," offers an opportunity to observe similarities and differences in folklore around the world. The illustrations, however, lack child appeal and add little to the book. The bold, bright oils, with their simple shapes, make the characters' heads resemble potatoes, and the details in the leaves and waves are jarring next to the expressionless human figures. A useful note at the end describes the origins of the tale and its adaptation.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From St. Thomas, a cautionary tale about a heedless boy who narrowly escapes being eaten by a two-headed giant when he beguiles the giant's wife with his music. The story will need introducing, since neither title nor jacket painting hint of the drama within; it's a wonderful read- or tell-aloud, with colloquial dialogue, lots of repetition, and a satisfying symmetry in the way Tukama is lured, step by step, into the giant's clutches (``Get on my big toe, and play that song for me again.'' ``Jump on my knee.'' ``Climb up on my chest, and play that song louder''), and then, bit by bit, persuades the giant's wife to let him out of the bag in which he's imprisoned. Tukama's bouncy little songs are repeated so often that listeners will quickly learn them. Saint James's oil paintings combine large areas of bold, uninflected color, figures with featureless faces, and parallel brushstrokes suggesting palm fronds, light-flecked ocean billows, and jumbled rocks. An outstanding introduction to a less well-known folklore. Endnote on sources and local references. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-7) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Orchard Books, NY, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Synthia Saint James (illustrator). 1st Edition. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Book. Bookseller Inventory # 040450
Book Description Scholastic. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0531068110 New book. Dust jacket in protective mylar cover. Bookseller Inventory # A13-737
Book Description Scholastic, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110531068110
Book Description Scholastic. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0531068110 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0213832