4 out of 4 stars
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The book The Talking Baobab Tree by Nelda Lateef is a book essentially teaching children the importance of respecting nature and the gifts it gives using the baobab tree as an example. The story also warns what happens when one becomes too greedy as shown with the hyena. In the story the baobab tree offers a lost rabbit the necessities and parts with words of wisdom which eventually helps the rabbit in dealing with a hungry/greedy neighbor later in the story.
Every page of the book is filled with colorful enough illustrations to keep the reader engaged with the story which is helpful for those who have not seen the subjects in the story such as the baobab tree, desert, or a hyena. The illustrations of the baobab’s hidden treasures are just a vibrant and colorful as gems. The author’s notes before the story begins is a helpful background information for those who are not familiar with the tree, culture, or the region. The story subtly shows readers one can stand up to someone or something much ‘bigger’ than oneself in that the meek, weak, smaller rabbit can best the bigger, stronger hyena.
The only complaint I have about this book would be the orientation of the text in some of the pages which might not be a problem for those who have a physical copy of the book, but for those who read on a screen will have some trouble.
I would give this book a four out of four star rating. The story was easy to read, minus the orientation of some of the pages, and understand with no errors. The illustrations range from simple to detailed; the main subjects are more detailed than the background images. The story has multiple lessons embedded and also gives a small vibe of the Arabian Nights with the use of the Wolof words as the ‘magic words’ to open and close the trunk of the baobab tree.
The book is good for children or for those who are learning English as a second language considering there’s illustrations to match with the words or anyone who enjoys picture books.
The Talking Baobab Tree
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