On a bright sunny day, a group of animals hunt together in the forests of Somalia. They eventually find a herd of camels and separate one from the others. The pack drags it under the shade of an acacia and anxiously awaits the lion's permission for a portion of it. They are ravenous but they know that they must receive approval first. The lion selects one of the older hyenas to suggest a plan to divide the carcass. He thinks for a moment and then proposes that half of the meat go to the lion and that the other half be shared by the clan. The lion violently disapproves of this plan and demands that a fox put forth a better one, which she does, allocating most of the meat to "our noble king." Naturally the lion is delighted, but the other animals leave "…with grief and spread out in the forest, chanting: 'The lion's share is not fair, the lion's share is not fair.'" The English text is straightforward and economical, and the facing Somali version is accurate. The narratives are perfectly matched with painted linoleum block prints. The muted browns, yellows, and blues showcase the intricate carvings and suggest a hazy, hot day in Africa. This is the first book in the Minnesota Humanities Commission's Somali Bilingual Book Project featuring Somali authors and illustrators. It's an excellent choice to extend folktale collections and to provide refugee children a slice of their culture.
Wendy WoodfillCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.