Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill: An African Mother Goose

Virginia Kroll, Author, Katherine Roundtree, Illustrator Charlesbridge Publishing $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88106-866-5
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.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 1 pages - 978-0-606-07727-9
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-88106-867-2
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-613-35161-4
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-88106-865-8
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