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Koi and the Kola Nuts : A Tale from Liberia Paperback – January 1, 2003
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From Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-Aardema first related Koi's adventures in Tales from the Story Hat (Coward, 1960; o.p.). Her revision is accompanied by Cepeda's ebullient oil paintings; his vivid colors, often presented in unexpected combinations and applied thickly, add texture to the already dynamic compositions. When Koi is cheated out of his inheritance by his older brothers, he leaves his Liberian village to seek his fortune elsewhere. He carries his only legacy: a bundle of kola nuts. Along the way, the young man shares his meager resources with a snake, an army of ants, and a crocodile. Koi is, therefore, empty-handed when he arrives at the next village and is challenged to perform three tasks to earn the chief's daughter's hand (and half of his kingdom). With a little help from his friends, Koi succeeds on all counts and ruminates on a variation of the golden rule on his wedding day. Ideophones enhance the narrative, which is presented with Aardema's consummate ear for folktale rhythms and patterns. A helpful glossary provides pronunciation and background for unfamiliar words. Use this story in concert with John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop, 1987) to present a masculine and feminine version of goodness rewarded.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
An irrepressible youth turns a missed opportunity into good fortune in this frenetic retelling of an African folktale from Aardema (This for That, 1997, etc.). When his father, the chief of his people, dies, Koi is out hunting and so misses the division of property among his brothers (including the distribution of ivory tusks), leaving him with a lone kola tree as his inheritance. Undeterred, Koi sees this as a chance to explore the world. On his journey, he encounters several creatures who are in need of assistance: a snake with a sick mother, a frantic army of ants fleeing the Forest Devil, and a penitent crocodile facing the wrath of the Rainmaker, whose dog he ate. Koi's kola nuts are always the answer to the desperate animals' prayers. When he comes upon the realm of Chief Fulikolli, a ragged Koi accepts the challenge of winning the hand of the chief's daughter and one half of his chiefdom. With the aid of the grateful creatures, Koi performs three seemingly impossible tasks. Laced with the liberal humor that is Aardema's hallmark, Koi's story and his sturdy spirit will draw readers in, as will the many uses of the kola nut and the lesson of doing good for others. In Cepeda's vibrant illustrations, the Liberian landscape glistens and its people dance across the page, while the last sceneof Koi as a chiefis a portrait of ebullience rewarded. (glossary) (Picture book/folklore. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.