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Kancil and the Crocodiles: A Tale from Malaysia

Overview

On a hot, sunny day, Kancil the mousedeer and his best frind, Kura-Kura the turtoise, spot a tree full of ripe, juicy fruit that would be the perfect snack to satisfy their thirst. The only problem is, the tree is on the other side of a crocodile-infested river. Can crafty Kancil trick the hungry crocodiles into helping them cross the river? Full color.

A mouse deer and a tortoise trick some hungry crocodiles into helping them cross...

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1996 Hardcover New 0689809549. New. No remainder marks. Professional service from a Main Street bookstore.; 10.30 X 8.40 X 0.50 inches; 32 pages.

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Overview

On a hot, sunny day, Kancil the mousedeer and his best frind, Kura-Kura the turtoise, spot a tree full of ripe, juicy fruit that would be the perfect snack to satisfy their thirst. The only problem is, the tree is on the other side of a crocodile-infested river. Can crafty Kancil trick the hungry crocodiles into helping them cross the river? Full color.

A mouse deer and a tortoise trick some hungry crocodiles into helping them cross a river but fail to plan for their getting back.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this Malaysian folktale, illustrated in jungle-hot shades like tomato-red and emerald, two tiny creatures provoke a mob of crocodiles. Mouse deer Kancil and tortoise Kura-Kura crave fruit from "a rambutan tree on the other side of the river," but the crocs block their way. So self-assured Kancil develops a scheme. On the pretense of counting party guests for the forest king, he tricks the lizards into forming a scaly row and crosses the river on their backs. Unfortunately, he brags about his feat before he and Kura-Kura return to their starting point-and here the story ends. (Talk about burning bridges.) In Day's telling, the mouse deer mocks the crocodiles for their greed, yet pays the price for his own; the polite tortoise is guilty by association. Teckentrup (Coyote Makes Man) contributes intensely colorful cut-paper illustrations, thereby enlivening this conventional tale of trickery. Her collages suggest bamboo, snakeskin and crocodile-skin textures, all saturated with humid colors; her midday sun, concentric circles in yellow and cantaloupe orange, is surrounded by tropical flowers, tree trunks and dangling vines. Kancil and Kura-Kura, meek cutouts in grocery-bag brown, sometimes get lost amid so much foliage, but Day supplies them with conversational voices and distinct personalities. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Kancil the mouse deer and Kura-Kura the tortoise are eager to eat the juicy, ripe rambutan fruit growing on a tree across the crocodile infested river. How they manage to trick the hungry crocodiles into helping them reach their goal, makes for an amusing and exciting tale. Vivid, textured, cut paper illustrations portray the tropical flora and fauna very well. An author's source note is included.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This Malaysian folktale is similar to the Indonesian "Counting Crocodiles" in Judy Sierra's The Flannel Board Storytelling Book (Wilson, 1987). Kancil, a mouse deer, and Kura-Kura, a tortoise, spy some juicy fruit on the far riverbank one hot afternoon. To get across the river, Kancil tells the crocodiles that they need to be counted for a party the king is planning. If the crocodiles would line up across the river, he and Kura-Kura could walk along them and count. Their destination reached, Kancil insults the crocodiles and says there is no party after all. To Kura-Kura, he admits the one flaw in his plan-how are they to return? This readable, humorous retelling is complemented by vibrant, stylized cut-paper collages. Mounds of strong color-blues, reds, shocking pinks-form the jungle land. Swirling crocodiles swim in a frenzy through red waters or swish their tails through aqua waves. One discordant note: sometimes Kancil and Kura-Kura appear to be crossing the river left to right, and on other occasions, the reverse.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In this tale from Malaysia, Kancil, a mouse deer—and trickster—and Kura-Kura, a tortoise, are best friends in an idyllic tropical forest enticingly rendered in Teckentrup's cut-paper illustrations. "All the animals lived happily together, as long as they were careful to talk to the crocodiles—who were always hungry—from a distance," Day puts it, economical and witty in her first picture book. On this day, however, Kancil wants some juicy fruit, which happens to be across the crocodile-filled river. Inventive Kancil tells the crocodiles the king needs to make arrangements for a party to which they are invited, but must be counted to make sure there's enough food. The crocodiles happily line up to be counted, making a bridge for Kancil and Kura-Kura to cross. Kancil is silly enough to spill the beans, enraging the crocodiles, and the book closes as the best friends belatedly remember that they need to return to the other bank. That twist—along with the lively pace and blithe tone—will make readers smile.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689809545
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/8/1996
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.65 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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