cover image Two Ways to Count to Ten: A Liberian Folktale

Two Ways to Count to Ten: A Liberian Folktale

Ruby Dee, Rudy Dee. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-0407-6

The noted actress retells this lively, well-paced and involving version of a Liberian folktale. The Leopard, who is king of all the animals, realizes that it is time both to designate a successor and award his daughter's hand in marriage, and so he devises a test: ``He who would be our prince must . . . throw the spear toward the sky. He must send it so high that he can count to ten before it comes down again.'' The animals clamor to test their skills. The elephant, the bush ox, the chimpanzee, the lion all in turn declare: ``I will be king. I can do this thing!'' And all, in turn, fail. Then the slender antelope presents himself and declares ``I can do this thing!'' And ``Two! Four! Six! Eight! Ten!'' the clever antelope wins the testthe king did not say how the count was to be made. Meddaugh's color-pencil and watercolor paintings suit the text well; they lend extra dimension to the animals' characterizations as the story unfolds. Readers and listeners of all ages will find this an irresistibly satisfying tale. Ages 6-10. (May)