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Margaret Read MacDonald breathes life into traditional folktales, sharing them in exciting performances, using them to enable beginning storytellers, and publishing them in picture books and folklore collections.
K-Gr 3-Inspired by "Chameleon and Elephant," this version of the traditional story stars Gecko as hero of the day. It's been a long dry spell, and the animals are thirsty. There's no rain in sight, so they decide to dig for water and to proclaim the one who finds it chief. How shall they dig? With tusks or horns? Not everyone has those, so they decide that everyone will STOMP because everyone has feet. (Except for snake, of course). "Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp" goes Elephant. But, no water. Next, it's Hippo's turn. "Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp." But, no water. Rhino tries, then Buffalo, then Giraffe. Next come the medium-size animals: Monkey, Warthog, and Hyena. Then, the little animals try: Rabbit and Iguana. Lastly, Gecko wants a turn. "Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp" says light-footed Gecko. "They can laugh. I won't give up." And before long. SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH. Of course, Elephant tries to steal Gecko's claim to fame, but the others know the truth. They build Gecko a special place right near their new watering hole. Children will enjoy repeating the refrain and the cumulative aspects of this tale. Done in watercolor and colored pencil and enhanced with Photoshop, the cartoon illustrations of the expressive animals are pleasing and large enough to be used with a group. This is a good choice for introducing folktales or for use in storytimes with a variety of themes including animals, perseverance, or tales from other lands.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.