3 out of 4 stars
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The Talking Baobab Tree by Nelda LaTeef was a great read. It was also illustrated by the author, which I find to be extremely impressive! This is a children's book that was published this year (2020). It includes an author's note at the beginning that explains the importance of the baobab tree to Senegal.
The story itself is about a rabbit named Johari. She is lost in the desert and is helped by a baobab tree. And it just so happens that this tree can talk! The baobab tree and Johari have a nice conversation which highlights the way the Senegal people see the baobab tree. After parting ways with the tree, Johari has some challenges to face.
This story is excellently told and does a great job bringing life to the characters. I like most how different sayings and advice are sprinkled throughout the story. These wise adages make it clear the lessons you ought to learn from reading this book. It stresses the importance of wisdom, truth, and keeping your word.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It loses one star because some of the illustrations really don't match the look of the rest of the book. I found this can make the immersion a bit more lacking than it would be otherwise. Other than that little bit of inconsistency, there wasn't anything I didn't like about this story. As an Anthropology major, I absolutely love hearing stories that shed light on someone else's culture.
This book is clearly written for children and is at a very basic reading level. However, I think that anyone interested in other cultures might find this book an interesting short read. After all, sometimes everyone could use a quick and fun read! Finally, this book appears to have been edited extremely well as I didn't find any spelling or grammar errors present.
The Talking Baobab Tree
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