3 out of 4 stars
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For this review I read The Talking Baobab Tree by Nelda LaTeef, an award-winning author known for her children's stories. This book tells the tale of a rabbit who goes wandering in the desert and comes across a baobab tree. It provides for her needs, but there are jealous animals waiting to take advantage of her!
My favorite thing about this book was that it taught me something new, even though it was written for children. Within the story there are two words in the Wolof language, information about the baobab tree, and an author's note with plenty of interesting facts that may be of interest to adults or avid young readers.
The thing I liked least about this book is that the hyena was typecast as the antagonist. I understand that this is a longstanding tradition in media, but it still bothers me somewhat. I feel that in some ways having the heroes and villains always played by the same types of characters encourages a type of prejudice against those species. It also seemed strange to me that some pages are formatted horizontally and others vertically, but this was a small matter because I imagine it adds something to the illustrations in a printed copy of the book.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I loved the story so much that I wanted to give it a perfect four star rating, but there were errors within the book and it is so short that I felt the lack of proper editing made it seem as though it had been rushed into print without proper care being taken.
There are no instances of profanity, religious content, or sexual material within this book. I did notice two errors with the text, for example at one point the author wrote 'see' when 'seen' would have been the grammatically correct choice.
I would recommend this story for anyone whose children enjoy tales about animals, or to adults who enjoy looking at beautifully illustrated children's books.
The Talking Baobab Tree
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