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Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill
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Hey, diddle, diddle, Cricket did fiddle While Firefly mimicked the moon. Wildebeest rumbled While Wild Dog grumbled, and Lion chased after Baboon. Introducing Mother Goose as you've never seen her before! This unique look at Africa preserves all the charm of the original Mother Goose favorites while weaving a modern treasury of rhyme. Tantalizing color illustrations and patterned borders reveal the splendors of Africa's countries. A helpful map of Africa is included. JAHA AND JAMIL is sure to become a beloved classic.

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Following their Wood-Hoopoe Willie, Kroll and Roundtree team up again for an African take on Mother Goose. The concept is terrific: by altering the lyrics of 48 familiar rhymes, Kroll provides a virtual syllabus for study of African culture and wildlife. ``Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum'' becomes ``Fee, fi, fo, foo./ I smell the juice of vegetable stew./ With a scarf around my head,/ I'll grind the manioc to make our bread.'' But despite the sound concept and Kroll's graceful reshaping of the rhymes, the book is blemished by troublesome misjudgments. Roundtree's bright but literal interpretations of the rhymes serve the educational agenda at the expense of real emotional appeal. Ironically, that very agenda is hampered by the book's overambitious inclusion of data from 28 countries and its failure to explain foreign words. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)

PreS-Gr 2-A unique offering. Kroll creatively captures the visual essence and diversity of the African continent and the poetic gaiety of Mother Goose. She includes 49 original verses that take on the rhythmic patterns of their traditional counterparts, e.g., ``Little Child'' corresponds to ``Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat.'' The illustration of two young children eating and drinking from a bowl serves to complement the text: ``Little Child, little child/Where are you from?/Far off in Africa, under the sun./Little Child, little child,/What do you eat?/Cassava and fishes, oh what a treat!'' Twenty-eight countries are represented; full-color illustrations depict topography, urban centers, forest, jungle, desert, plain, and marketplace. Colors are rich and vibrant, reflecting the warmth of the African continent. A welcome, interesting addition.-Barbara Osborne Williams, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, NY

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