I Lost My Arrow in a Kankan Tree

Noni Lichtveld, Author Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $15 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-12748-0
In this bouncy Surinamese cumulative tale, Jakono leaves his parents and his 10 little brothers and sisters to find work. When he shoots down a pigeon, his arrow catches in the tree. From then on, his journey is propelled by a series of trades: Granmisi, an old woman, gladly takes the pigeon and offers Jakono a pumpkin. A carpenter swaps a walking stick for the pumpkin, and so forth. Each exchange helps others, not Jakono. In the end, he receives more than a job, but the final barter does as much good for the entire kingdom as it does for Jakono's family. Lichtveld's colorful, full-bleed illustrations fancifully depict the cultures and peoples of Suriname, particularly the Indonesian and Muslim populations. A note on the jacket informs the reader that Surinamese families, including the author's, would hold contests to see who could recite Jakono's tale fastest. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!