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African Animal Tales


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This is the story of how Leopard came to lie in wait in the trees and why you just might hear Baby Baboon laughing and laughing.

About the Author

Author: Bruce Hobson is the author of seven books in this series. He lives on a farm in South Africa. Illustrator: Adrienne Kennaway moved from Kenya to London when she was 15 to study at the Ealing School of Art. Later she attended L'Academia de Belle Arte in Rome. It was on her return to Kenya that she began illustrating the picture books that have made her well known.


In his attempt to snare a hare, Leopard enlists the help of Baboon. She is to monitor the rabbit hole while Leopard takes a drink from the river. But the cunning prey digs himself another exit and escapes. As Baby Baboon observes this comedic scene from his tree branch, he laughs and laughs--until he provokes the angry hunger of Leopard--``I'll have you to eat instead.'' When he snags Baby Baboon by the tail, Vervet Monkey intercedes with a clever scheme to save the impetuous youngster: reasoning that baboons are notoriously tough to eat, she suggests a spurious tenderizing method. The powerful Leopard is foiled by his credulity when Baby Baboon flies high through the air and is caught in his mother's arms. So, to this day, we can hear Baby Baboon laughing and laughing as Leopard hangs in the tree waiting. The classic simplicity and sly playfulness of Hadithi's narrative and Kennaway's exotic, light-sensitive watercolors make this attractive volume a worthy addition to the team's growing library of pourquoi tales ( Lazy Lion , Hot Hippo , Crafty Chameleon ). Ages 4-8. (May)

PreS-Gr 2-- A satisfying story with a bright, bold jungle setting and a cast of believable animal characters, this is a terrific choice for story times. Leopard is hungry and so he chases Hare, who swiftly slips down a hole in the riverbank. After waiting some time, Leopard gets bored and thirsty, and asks Baby Baboon and his mother to watch for Hare while he gets a drink. Meanwhile, Hare digs a second hole and escapes. Leopard is very angry and his mood is not improved by Baby Baboon, who laughs at him. Deciding to eat the baboons instead, Leopard chases them and catches Baby Baboon. All seems lost until clever Vervet Monkey tricks Leopard. The flowing text and fast-paced action will quickly engage the interest of young listeners. Double-page illustrations burst with life and color; the individual animals are particularly well drawn. Leopard's face, for example, is extremely expressive, which adds to both the humor and the suspense. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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