Animal Stories 1: The Tortoise's Gift

Overview

One hot, dry summer in Zambia, the rain stops falling. Soon, the animals are very hungry and thirsty. How can they recover? They have heard of a wonderful tree that can produce fruit, but it will only do so if it is asked by name—and no one can remember what it is called! The animals agree to send a messenger to the wise mountain to find out the name of the tree and bring it back. One by one, the animals set out, but remembering the name is not as easy as they had imagined . . ....

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Overview

One hot, dry summer in Zambia, the rain stops falling. Soon, the animals are very hungry and thirsty. How can they recover? They have heard of a wonderful tree that can produce fruit, but it will only do so if it is asked by name—and no one can remember what it is called! The animals agree to send a messenger to the wise mountain to find out the name of the tree and bring it back. One by one, the animals set out, but remembering the name is not as easy as they had imagined . . .

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—These retellings provide just the right balance of print and illustration, and repetitive texts make them good choices for fairly proficient readers. Life lessons are woven into the narratives and illustrations, providing good material for discussions. In Tiger, a merchant on his way to market happens upon a tiger stuck in a pit. He stops and rescues the animal, only to have it threaten to eat him in return for his kindness. An argument ensues over the repayment of good deeds with bad ones and the fairness of life in general. An ox, a tree, and finally a hare are called in to settle the disagreement, and the tale comes to a humorous and satisfying ending. In Tortoise's Gift, the animals are trying to survive a terrible drought. One by one, they go to the mountain for the magic word to make a tree grow fruit. Pride, forgetfulness, and distraction prevent them from remembering the magic word necessary to achieve the desired results. Finally, the slow and steady tortoise saves the day.—Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Is a tortoise too small and slow to be of any help? There's a drought in Africa, and all of the animals are hungry, when old rabbit remembers a story about a tree. "When the rain stops falling," he says, "this wonderful tree grows every animal's favorite fruit." Stylized, colorful acrylics portray the woeful animals as they seek out the tree, but once they find it, they can't get it to grow any fruit. After some experimentation, they come to the conclusion that they need to find out its name. Only the mountain is old enough to remember, so one by one, the animals journey to the mountain and try to find out. The lion, elephant and chimps all make an attempt, but by the time each of them returns to the tree, they've become too pleased with themselves and too distracted to remember the name. Now it's up to the tortoise. The other animals have no faith he can do it--he's too small and slow--but his steadiness and calm focus may just save them all. Simple vocabulary, straightforward text and plenty of repetition make this a good choice for somewhat experienced readers, while the gentle humor, accessible lesson and appealing illustrations make this a tale that children will savor. This Zambian tale adapts well to the early-reader format. (Folk tale/early reader. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846867743
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Series: Animal Stories , #1
  • Pages: 46
  • Sales rank: 711,491
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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