Promising that he will show her how to gain the affection of her new stepmother, Almaz's grandfather tells her to bring him a handful of hair from the tail of a lion, in a folktale set in Ethiopia.
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Grade 2-4?A retelling of the Ethiopian folktale "The Lion's Whiskers." In the traditional story, a new stepmother learns to be patient in drawing her stepson into accepting her. Kurtz's version has a female child as the central character, emphasizing her persistent attempts to reach out to her father's new wife after her mother's death. The details of mourning and her daily life make the forlorn Almaz seem real, and the respectful warmth of her relationship with her wise grandfather is sensitively portrayed. The author's note may help American children to appreciate the stepmother, who appears to reject all of the girl's initiatives. Kurtz's language has a tender lyricism further emphasized by Cooper's oil paintings. A brown wash mutes the background colors, creating a timeless sense of story. At the same time, the illustrations, including the appearance of the child and the use of hot colors in the background, give a much less authentic sense of Ethiopia than E.B. Lewis's illustrations for Kurtz's Fire on the Mountain (S.&S., 1994). Pulling the Lion's Tale is a good story that may be especially helpful to American children in blended families. Like so many picture books with African settings, it is less than entirely successful in projecting ideas about Africa.?Loretta Kreider Andrews, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. In The Lion's Whiskers , Nancy Day Raines retold an Ethiopian folktale about a stepmother who wins her resentful stepson's love by taming a lion and taking three whiskers from its tail. Here Kurtz makes up a story based on that folktale, but she tells it from the point of view of the child who feels rejected and who tries to win her new stepmother's love. When the child Almaz asks her grandfather how to win over her stepmother, he tells Almaz to bring him some hair from the tail of a lion. Cooper's oil paintings in shades of brown and gold focus on the Ethiopian landscape and on the child, who feels like an outsider. They also make us see the new wife, lonely and strange, and the gradual connection between the two as they learn to trust each other. Hazel Rochman
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Books for You, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110689803249