From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–An oversized book with illustrations that add depth and humor to the text. Ngiri Mdogo (which means "Little Warthog" in Swahili) is teased by the bigger warthogs because of his small size, and because they are jealous of the Other Animals that live across the River and have beautiful spots, stripes, and plumes. When the wise old wildebeest gives the little warthog a set of magic bongo drums that will grant any wish, the angry Other Animals lose their striking markings, while the warthogs look fabulous in gorgeous spots, stripes, and colors. That night, Ngiri Mdogo plays the drums again. When the sun rises, the markings are on the wrong animals, and all of them are unhappy. Again, the little warthog plays the drums, and with the new day, everything is back to normal. The animals celebrate with a Grand Parade and when Ngiri Mdogo plays a solo, everyone is careful not to wish for anything. Base's lush, colorful illustrations capture the richness of jungle life. The appealing creatures are drawn accurately enough for identification, but their facial expressions and physical positions give them personality and humor. To add to the wonderment, Base has included several illustrations with hidden animals for readers to find. A note on Swahili pronunciation is included. This is a visual feast, even if bongo drums are not native to Africa.–Linda Staskus, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. Ngiri Mdogo, the smallest warthog in Africa, turns the tables on both the larger warthogs and the other African animals when he plays music on magic drums. Base, the author of such books as Animalia
(1986) and The Waterhole
(2001), returns to the jungle and savannah, once again offering his hallmark art and witty text to engage both children and those who read to them. In this book, lushly detailed paintings of long-lashed warthogs, a blushing zebra, a bearded wildebeest, and other creatures invite kids to look closely and often. Children will have a great deal of fun figuring out whose parts belong to whom after Ngiri's drumming causes the animals' features to transfer from one critter to another. An afterword by Base will send everyone back through the pages yet again in search of the wise wildebeest that is hidden in every picture. Most of the time he's relatively easy to spot; occasionally however, kids will need patience and a keen eye to find him. Francisca GoldsmithCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved