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Koi and the kola nuts : a tale from Liberia /

An African folktale in which the son of the chief must make his way in the world with only a sackful of kola nuts and the help of some creatures that he has treated with kindness. Full description

Main Author:
Other Authors: Cepeda, Joe,
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1999
Edition: First edition.
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SUMMARY

This African folktale tells the story of a son of a chief, who must make his way in the world with only a sackful of kola nuts and the help of some creatures that he has treated with kindness. Full color.


Review by Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. At Chief Ogumefu's death, his son Koi's only inheritance is a scrawny tree. Disheartened, he plucks the nuts from the tree and sets off to explore the world. Along the way, he shares his kola nuts with a distressed snake, an endangered colony of ants, and a desperate crocodile. At a new village, the chief gives him three impossible assignments to win the hand of his daughter, but the animals assist Koi on each task, and all ends well, with an attached moral: "Do good and good will come back to you." This West African folktale originally appeared in Aardema's The Story Hat and has been narrated by Whoopi Goldberg in audio, but here Aardema has added onomatopoetic expressions and strengthened the narrative. In the earlier version, sans moral, Koi must complete the three tasks to save his life, and the king's daughter is an added gift. Here, the daughter is the prize to be won. Cepeda's vibrant oil paintings exude warmth and vitality. The sometimes exaggerated facial expressions and gestures are lively and fit the characters. Aardema's honed narrative and Cepeda's vigorous illustrations make this an attractive version. --Linda Perkins

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this tale, revised from Aardema's Tales from the Story Hat, the youngest son of a chief who has just died is left with only a kola tree, and the kindness he has bequeathed onto other creatures, to live by. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Aardema first related Koi's adventures in Tales from the Story Hat (Coward, 1960; o.p.). Her revision is accompanied by Cepeda's ebullient oil paintings; his vivid colors, often presented in unexpected combinations and applied thickly, add texture to the already dynamic compositions. When Koi is cheated out of his inheritance by his older brothers, he leaves his Liberian village to seek his fortune elsewhere. He carries his only legacy: a bundle of kola nuts. Along the way, the young man shares his meager resources with a snake, an army of ants, and a crocodile. Koi is, therefore, empty-handed when he arrives at the next village and is challenged to perform three tasks to earn the chief's daughter's hand (and half of his kingdom). With a little help from his friends, Koi succeeds on all counts and ruminates on a variation of the golden rule on his wedding day. Ideophones enhance the narrative, which is presented with Aardema's consummate ear for folktale rhythms and patterns. A helpful glossary provides pronunciation and background for unfamiliar words. Use this story in concert with John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop, 1987) to present a masculine and feminine version of goodness rewarded.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

Verna Aardema was born on June 6, 1911 in New Era Michigan. She received her B.A. degree from Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in 1934. She was a grade school teacher from 1934 to 1973 and staff correspondent for the Muskegon Chronicle from 1951 to 1972.

Aardema started writing children's stories in the 1950's, and in 1960 she published her first books, Tales from the Story Hat and The Sky God Stories. She specializes in the modernization and adaptation of traditional African folktales. In the 1970s, Aardema joined illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon and produced three picture books. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears received the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and the Brooklyn Art Books for Children Award in 1977. Who's in Rabbit's House? was the 1977 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner in 1978. Aardema received the Children's Reading Round Table Award in 1981, and several of her books have been selected as Notable Books by the American Library Association. Oh Kojo! How Could You! won the 1984 Parents' Choice Award for Literature.

Verna Aardema died in 2000.


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