- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleOur Review
A Nigerian folktale comes to life in this dynamite book from storyteller Aaron Shepard. Feats of epic strength and one man's overconfidence fill this tale with humor, a lesson in hubris, and an imaginative explanation for thunder.
We are introduced to Shadusa, a very strong man who can easily carry two antelope on his back and haul stacks of firewood with ease. Boasting of his greatness, he declares himself the Master Man, the strongest in the world, ignoring his wife Shettu's advice that there will always be someone stronger and that Shadusa might just meet him one day. The next day, Shettu stops by a well for water. The bucket is stuck at the bottom of the shaft, and after several attempts to free it, she gives up. A woman passing by gives it a try, also to no avail, then asks her young baby to give a tug. With a quick pull from the child, the bucket comes flying up. Shettu can hardly believe the child's strength, but the woman explains that the baby's father is known as Master Man.
When Shadusa hears that someone else has claimed his self-awarded title, he sets out for the well and runs into the mother-son duo from the day before. Eager to meet his rival, he returns with the woman to her house. When he feels the ground shake and sees a monster of a man trundling towards him, the boastful Shadusa knows he has more than met his match. Running away, Shadusa stumbles over a huge pile of elephant bones; the enormous stranger overtakes him, proclaiming that he is the true Master Man. The two begin the brawl of a lifetime, and their combined strength lifts them right off the ground! They have never come down, and the rumblings of their epic struggle cause what some people call thunder.
Shepard uses a comic-book format, with bold cut-paper illustrations. The roaring of the second Master Man is shown through a picture of the cracking ground and the word "ROAR" in bright yellow. Shadusa's facial expressions and his wild flight from the Master Man will prove hilarious to young readers, as will the vivid picture of the Master Man's baby pulling the bucket from the well. In addition, the retelling of this tall tale will introduce readers to Nigeria and familiarize them with the African land's culture, dress, names, and way of life. At the end, the author explains the origin of the story and affirms that this book can entertain and educate at the same time.