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Posted March 12, 2003
Years ago when I was teaching, I found a copy of this folktale in the trash after teaching a unit on storytelling. I fell in love with the story and only found its actual source after a great deal of research. Before that, though, it had 'bothered' me to the point where I wanted to re-tell it and did so. The story is a simple one about goodness and the true meaning of friendship--which has a lot to do with learning that a fitting gift is one your friend wants, not one you want for him. Tanukis are small, furry Japanese mammals, something like raccoons or badgers, known for their magical abilities. But in this case the only magic involved is the power of sympathy, compassion, and love. (I shouldn't say 'the ONLY magic,' actually, since I think Robert Roth's illustrations are utterly enchanting!). And I tried to put some deeper levels in the story too, for those adults who--like me--often find much that's profound in good writing for children. I hope you like it! Sincerely, Tim MyersWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.