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Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of 'Little Black Sambo' (Picture Puffin Books) Paperback – August 28, 2000
In the original story by Helen Bannerman, Little Black Sambo must tread carefully, lest his clothes be stolen from him by a gang of tigers. Today, it is the teller of the tale who must tread carefully, lest the forces of political correctness attack, charging racism. Because of the names she chose for her characters, the book has become a symbol of intolerance in the century since it was written. Strip away race, however, and the tale underneath is both simple and affecting. To make it more palatable to modern readers, Julius Lester has recast the tale in a "Southern black storytelling voice." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Troubled by the racist trappings?the characters' names and the stereotypical illustrations?of The Story of Little Black Sambo, but drawn nonetheless to its hero and its humor, Lester and Pinkney set out to reinvent the tale. Their interpretation is more freewheeling than Fred Marcellino's (see The Story of Little Babaji, above), and they departs frequently and ingeniously from Bannerman's version. The new book's protagonist is simply Sam; the setting is the land of Sam-sam-sa-mara, where everyone is named Sam?a touch that not only defuses any echoes of the original hero's derogatory name, but allows for many wonderfully absurd exchanges ("Sam looked at Sam. Sam shrugged. Sam shrugged back...."). Using the lively Southern black voice of his Uncle Remus retellings, Lester creates a savvy, comically streetwise hero who quickly learns to anticipate the tigers' muggings (" 'You know the routine,' said the Tiger. Sam nodded and took off his pants. 'Take 'em.' ") while losing none of his own sass. Pinkney's lavish illustrations?a feast of figures, color, expressions and detail?pick up and run with the expansive mood of the text. A hip and hilarious retelling that marries the essence of the original with an innovative vision of its own. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Update: My youngest is 7 years old now and this book is still his favorite.
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Takes a story about an Indian (not, and never was and African) who is smart , quick, and clever.Read more