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Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia
     

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

by Verna Aardema, Joe Cepeda (Illustrator)
 

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When Koi, the yongest son of Chief Ogumefu, learns that his only inheritance is a scraggly kola tree, he decides to travel the world. With only a sack of kola nuts on his back, Koi sets out on a wonderful journey in search of his own fortune, and learns a lesson: Do good and good will come back to you.

Overview


When Koi, the yongest son of Chief Ogumefu, learns that his only inheritance is a scraggly kola tree, he decides to travel the world. With only a sack of kola nuts on his back, Koi sets out on a wonderful journey in search of his own fortune, and learns a lesson: Do good and good will come back to you.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this tale, revised from Aardema's Tales from the Story Hat, the youngest son of a chief who has just died is left with only a kola tree, and the kindness he has bequeathed onto other creatures, to live by. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Koi returned late from his hunting trip and learned that his father, Chief Ogumefu had died. What's more, the village Wise Man had divided the royal possessions among Koi's brothers. All that was left for Koi was a kola tree. Koi picked the nuts and set out to explore the world. Along the way he met a snake, some ants and a crocodile all of whom ask for his help which he gladly gave. Koi then met Chief Fulikolli who told Koi he could marry his daughter and gain half his chiefdom if he could succeed in three challenges. While at first they seemed impossible, those he helped along the way help him in return. Aardema has enhanced this Liberian tale she first published in Tales from the Story Hat (1960) with ideophones (words that mimic the actual sounds). The result is a delightful book to read aloud. Cepeda's stylized oil paintings are full of expression and movement. His use of light and dark tones in alternating illustrations heightens the interest and complements the part of the folktale being told.
Library Journal
K-Gr 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 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689856778
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
01/01/2003
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Joe Cepeda is the illustrator of many awarding-winning picture books including Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, What a Truly Cool World by Julius Lester, a Family Life Magazine Top 10 Best Books of the Year, a Family Fun Critic's Choice, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, Mice and Beans by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley which was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. Mr Cepeda received his BFA in illustration from California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Cepeda received the Recognition of Merit Award for 2000 from The George G. Stone Center for Children's Books. His illustrations have appeared in publications such as The Los Angeles Times; Buzz, Inc. Magazine; and Latina Magazine.

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