Clever Tortoise cuts a couple of bullies down to size in this traditional African folktale.
Elephant and Hippo are bullies. Big, strong, and selfish, the two friends boss and frighten all the other animals in the jungle, making life in their formerly harmonious community unbearable. But one day, Clever Tortoise calmly declares that size and strength aren't everything. Soon he proves it, hatching a plan to outwit the two tyrants with the tug-of-war to end all tugs-of-war. Who will be left standing when Tortoise's ingenious contest is over? Francesca Martin's spirited adaptation of a traditional African folk story-complete with a glossary of African words-and her rich illustrations will have kids cheering as wit and quiet wisdom triumph over brute strength.
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Francesca Martin found CLEVER TORTOISE a real pleasure to illustrate because, she says, "It was like painting the happy memory of my childhood in East Africa, where the ground was always busy with small insects and animals, elephants roamed the plains, and hippos soaked in the river."From Kirkus Reviews:
Martin (The Honey Hunters, 1992, etc.) retells an old, old trickster story from the Ngoni people of southern Tanzania with great good humor and a story-teller style highly appropriate for a tale from the oral tradition: "Listen! / There is a lake in Africa, called Nyasa. / Mmm, it is full of blue cool water." and "Hm, tch, tch, it started like this . . ." Words in Kiswahili, the language most spoken in Tanzania, are translated immediately in text, thus proving to be no problem for readers, from Chungu (black ant), Chura (frog) and Kobi (tortoise) in the appealing title page to the final line, Kwa heri ya kuonana, wanangu ("so long, children, till we meet again.") The personal, one-on-one tone expands deliciously in luscious, lavish watercolors depicting what happens when two boastful bullies, Elephant and Hippopotamus, declare their superiority over the small animals. Warthog calls a meeting to find a way to control the two behemoths; big-brained Tortoise comes up with a tricky tug-of-war that pits one against the other unbeknownst to either. The battle is joined in its traditional way: Elephant has one end, Hippopotamus the other. Tortoise ends the tug by cutting the rope, leaving the bullies questioning-but not denigrating-his strength. What makes this version particularly appealing is the panels of illustration, boarders run the length of two pages, the jungle scene takes up three quarters of those pages with the text set out on white space. There's plenty to look at in the highly detailed vignettes and abundant color helps to set the mood. Utterly charming and a great read-aloud. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Candlewick, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st U. S. ed. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0763605069
Book Description Candlewick, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110763605069
Book Description Candlewick, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-047-96-8290708
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97807636050631.0