Two Ways to Count to Ten: A Liberian Folktaleby Ruby Dee, Susan Meddaugh
The noted actress retells this lively, well-paced and involving version of a Liberian folktale.
BooklistKing Leopard is wise enough to plan for a successor: 'I must seek out the cleverest beast in our jungle. I must find one who is wise enough to rule well.' He plans a contest; the winner is to be named a prince and marry his daughter. Contestants must throw Leopard's spear up in the air and count to ten before it comes to earth again...The story is a strong one and will be an effective read-aloud.
The New York TimesA clever tale about the jungle beasts learning to count, showing once again that being strong is not the same as being smart.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe noted actress retells this lively, well-paced and involving version of a Liberian folktale. The Leopard, who is king of all the animals, realizes that it is time both to designate a successor and award his daughter's hand in marriage, and so he devises a test: ``He who would be our prince must . . . throw the spear toward the sky. He must send it so high that he can count to ten before it comes down again.'' The animals clamor to test their skills. The elephant, the bush ox, the chimpanzee, the lion all in turn declare: ``I will be king. I can do this thing!'' And all, in turn, fail. Then the slender antelope presents himself and declares ``I can do this thing!'' And ``Two! Four! Six! Eight! Ten!'' the clever antelope wins the testthe king did not say how the count was to be made. Meddaugh's color-pencil and watercolor paintings suit the text well; they lend extra dimension to the animals' characterizations as the story unfolds. Readers and listeners of all ages will find this an irresistibly satisfying tale. Ages 6-10. (May)
School Library JournalK-Gr 2 A retelling of a story available in Carpenter's African Wonder Tales (Doubleday, 1963; o.p.) and other collections. Leopard, the king, decides to choose his successor with a test; any comer who can cast a spear into the air for a count of ten will marry his daughter and become the next ruler. Elephant, Ox, Chimp, Lion, and the rest try and fail (Lion comes closesthe gets to ``nine''), but little Antelope tosses the spear up and calls out ``Two! Four! Six! Eight! Ten!'' King Leopard laughs, then acknowledges that it's ``sometimes the cleverest that wins the prize.'' A familiar cavalcade of African animals cavort and smile anthropomorphically through Meddaugh's clear, orderly illustrations; the antelope is dainty and ingenuous, the king more a comfortable fat cat than a regal presence. Next to an Aardema story, the text is flavorless, (``I can do this thing'' is a repeated refrain), but readers will enjoy the brains-over-brawn theme, however contrived the set-up may be. John Peters, New York Public Library
- Square Fish
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.77(w) x 9.91(h) x 0.07(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
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