From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?A traditional tale with a new slant. Kitoto, a mouse who lives on the African Savannah, looks for a force strong enough to protect him from a hawk. The river sends him to the sun. The sun informs him that the wind is more powerful, but the wind tells him that she is not mighty enough to move the mountain. The mountain tells him to search for the creature "who chomps away at my root." Kitoto enters the mountain and is surprised to discover Kigego, a little gray mouse who promises to teach him the secrets of the ground, as Kitoto will show her the secrets of the Savannah. Like Eric Kimmel's version of this tale, The Greatest of All (Holiday, 1991), Kitoto challenges readers to decide how greatness might be measured. While Kimmel tells of a father who seeks the best husband for his daughter, Mollel's mouse is a weak male who seeks the most powerful being and finds a female who epitomizes the essence of strength?one who performs the tasks necessary for survival. Frost's illustrations capture the warm colors of the African Savannah, its topography, and its animals. The close-ups of Kitoto and the personified elements of nature are exceptional. A wonderful retelling that may help young girls who lack confidence in their abilities to meet daily challenges.?Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis, IN
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A familiar folktale is retold, as a mouse goes in search of the most powerful entity on earth, and finds out that it is one of his own kind. Hungry and searching for food, Kitoto flees a predatory hawk. He approaches the powerful river and beseeches it to be his friend and protect him, for it ``must be the most powerful of all beings.'' The river explains that the sun is the most powerful, for it can burn the river to a trickle. The sun refers the mouse to the wind, who can hide the savanna from its view with clouds. When Kitoto finds a mouse chewing holes through a mountain, they become friends and pledge to help each other. The illustrations portray the savanna with exotic animals and deeply colored landscapes; the elements, personified, are outlandish, from the sun with its wild points of golden hair to the wind with serpentine braids and gold bracelets. This old story is always compelling, in a setting full of adventure. (Picture book. 5-7) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.