From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-This handsome offering features 10 stories that are said to be from Africa. In them, children will find tricksters, cautionary tales, pourquoi stories, situations in which size and speed are overcome by cunningness, and instances where vanity is punished. Each story, presented in large typeface, ranges in length from 8-to-11 pages. Most of the tales read aloud well, and the watercolor paintings that grace every page are expressive, nicely capturing the characters and their environs. Unfortunately, there is nary a hint of where or from whom the author obtained these tales, rendering this title to additional-purchase status at best. Verna Aardema's Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa (Knopf, 1994), Virginia Hamilton's A Ring of Tricksters: Animal Tales from America, the West Indies, and Africa (Scholastic, 1997), and Naomi Adler's The Dial Book of Animal Tales from around the World (Dial, 1996) all have more documentation.Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Although the language of the originals seems to have been oversimplified (there are no notes or sources given), these ten retellings about African animals--how the gluttonous zebra got its vulgar stripes, how the boastful hippo lost his silken hair and acquired his nocturnal habits, and more--remain thoroughly entertaining. The stories frequently hinge--as is appropriate for the genre--on some weakness of character (the witless lion, the tortoise without self-respect, the thieving monkey) that manifests itself as bad behavior or foolishness, so that the endings ring with a sense of just deserts, and, in some cases, border just this side of smug. The token trickster tale features a jackal, who pulls a fast one to reclaim the fruit of the Muula Tree. Warnes has an impressive knack for summoning the African landscape in expressive forms and very few colors. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.