Fresh Fish: A Tale from Tanzania

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9780888996565: Fresh Fish: A Tale from Tanzania
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Sokwe the Chimp has been fishing since early morning and has come home with a load of fish. He can already imagine the price his catch will fetch at the market the next day. As he pulls up to the riverbank, he sees that his friends the other animals are having a party. He can’t resist joining in. But as he carries the fish up to stow them away, Dog catches sight of the mouth-watering catch.

The next day Sokwe loads his truck with his catch along with his other friends who are bringing produce or goods to market. Dog joins them. Sure enough he is soon sniffing at the baskets of fish. And he comes up with a devilish scheme to steal them.

Despite many twists and turns in the plot (including Lion breaking his leg as he tries to pursue Dog, visits to the hospital and a very exciting soccer match) justice finally catches up with Dog and he is put on trial. His punishment to plant a field full of trees on Tree Planting Day - is quickly carried out, and finally Dog and Chimp are reconciled. Even Lion is forgiving.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3–After catching a bounty of fish, Sokwe Chimpanzee meets his friend Dog, who eyes the overflowing basket greedily. He offers to carry the fattest fish to lighten the load, but Sokwe sees through this ruse and generously gives him the fish as a gift. Despite this kindness, Dog steals a basket of fish at the market the next day. Lion witnesses the theft and chases him, tripping over Mrs. Hippopotamus's oranges and hurting his leg. The animals carry him to the hospital where the leg is set. The next day, at soccer, Sokwe and the others spy Dog, "sleeping off his feast in the hollow trunk of a baobab tree...." The animals hold a trial, and, after pleading guilty, Dog and his family are sentenced to working twice as hard as everyone else on Tree Planting Day. They finish in record time and all is forgiven. The story is reminiscent of a folktale with its moralistic tone, setting, and animal characters. While the stylized, anthropomorphic characters, dressed in bright African clothing, fit with a traditional motif, the truck they drive, hospital setting, and soccer match give the tale a "Babar the elephant" quality. The flat, yet striking paintings depict the landscape and indigenous animals of Africa, while the colorful clothing, music, and dance capture its spirit.– Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
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