February 23, 2012

Bantu tale

retold by Celia Barker Lottridge
illustrated by Ian Wallace

Long ago, in the land of the short grass, there was a great drought. The animals were hungry and thirsty. To find food, they walked across the flat plain until they came to a very tall tree. The tree had fruit on it that was as red as pomegranates, as yellow as bananas, as green as melons, as purple as plums, as orange as mangos, and it smelled like all the fruits of the world. But the tree's branches were so high that even the giraffe couldn't reach them. The tree will only lower its branches to those who call it by name. First the gazelle and then the elephant cross the plain to ask their king, the lion, to tell them the name of the tree. When they fail, it is up to the young tortoise to remember the tree's name.

A well-told story with beautiful, softly tinted pictures. 

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