cover image Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper!

Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper!

Tololwa M. Mollel, Frommer. Clarion Books, $16 (18pp) ISBN 978-0-395-60734-3

This evocative retelling of a Maasai fable features a hare who finds that her home has been taken over by a mysterious interloper. ``I eat rhinos for lunch and elephants for supper!'' booms a terrible voice from inside the cave. The little animal bolts for the safe haven of a few jungle friends who promise to help; the ferocious outcry, however, thwarts every attempt. A sassy pipe-smoking frog, awakened by all the commotion, storms into the cave and reappears with the culprit: a roly-poly caterpillar with strong vocal cords. Though Spurll's lush jungle foliage and primitive page borders impart a believably African tone, her oddly anthropomorphic animals frequently seem like TV cartoon escapees. Realistically drawn for the most part, the creatures sport incongruous props and disconcerting facial expressions. The implicit message, however--what you can imagine is often scarier than what actually exists--is well taken. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)