3 out of 4 stars
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The Talking Baobab Tree by Nelda LaTeef tells a story in an exciting way through both pictures and words. We start the story off with Johari, a rabbit lost in the desert, but she's soon given shelter inside a savior baobab tree. Johari thinks nothing terrible will happen to her now, but then a hyena comes after her, and it's up to Johari to outwit the more robust animal with a little help from the baobab tree. The Talking Baobab Tree will teach kids that being smaller doesn’t mean you can’t win as long as you put your mind to it.
There was a lot to like about the book, especially the characters, but what I couldn't help but like the most were the illustrations. The paintings were so detailed and creative that I would have just gotten the book for the pictures. There were very colorful pages that many children will be sucked in by. I also liked how realistic the rabbits were, and they seemed to be so real that they could almost pop out of the page. There was also a dash of history at the beginning of the book as the author wrote a biography on the baobab tree.
While the book was great and colorful enough to interest a child, I disliked how many words there were. Sometimes there were paragraphs full of words, and while they were needed to tell the story, they made the story seem longer than it actually was. It's the kind of book that would teach a child to read and challenge different ages. However, even with the many words, I liked how the author added the text in the most creative places, such as on a tree or in the dirt.
I would suggest that older children learning to read or already know how to read look into this book. It's a good book that shares information on a real tree but still keeps any child interested with the fascinating pictures.
I give the book 3 out of 4 stars because while I loved the display of paintings and the story, there were at times way too many words for a child to read on one page. All in all, I appreciated reading about a tale from West African oral tradition. The writing seemed to be professionally edited, and there weren’t any errors that I noticed. This was a great read, and I hope future readers enjoy it.
The Talking Baobab Tree
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