When a proud and vain princess loses her hair--her most prized possession--a beggar boy named Muoma helps her to learn the meaning of generosity.
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Grade 1-3-- This folktale from the Akamba people of East Africa concerns a vain princess whose refusal to give even a strand of her beautiful hair to a bird building a nest costs her her hair and her kingdom its livelihood. As famine descends upon the land, Muoma, a beggar boy, sets off to find the bird. For sharing his last food, water, and strength with an ant, a flower, and a mouse, respectively, he is rewarded, and subsequently helps and marries the humbled princess. Like much of sub-Saharan African folklore, this is a didactic tale. Mollel's text, though, is not heavy-handed. He builds sympathy for the boy, who is at first tempted to kill the bird for food but who shares with the other creatures because he knows hunger and loss. The interdependence of all living things figures strongly here and may be presented in light of current concerns. Reasoner's illustrations combine bright colors, straight lines, and broad flowing curves that build upon African motifs. In comparison with other stories, such as Mollel's The Orphan Boy (Ticknor & Fields, 1991), the illustrations lack depth. However, the explanatory material at the end is useful, and this is a lively and appealing retelling. --Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Troll Communications, 1993. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110816728151