"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Monday, May 16, 2011

Zomo the Rabbit

Zomo the Rabbit: a Trickster Tale From West Africa by Gerald McDermott. 1992.

Before his story begins, McDermott gives some background information about Zomo. He is a trickster who originated in Hausaland, Nigeria and is the original character who is also known as Brer Rabbit in the USA. Trickster tales are told to entertain, but also to teach. In this story, Zomo is a very clever rabbit, but he wants to be wise as well. When he asks Sky God for this gift, he learns that he must earn his wisdom by doing three impossible tasks. He shall bring Sky God Big Fish’s scales, Wild Cow’s milk, and Leopard’s tooth. Fortunately, Zomo has his wits. He has his drum. But, he has no caution. Will his efforts be worthwhile?

McDermott’s pictures were done in gouache on watercolor paper. They are very bright, eye-catching and filled with movement, which suits the cheerful story. Zomo is a cute black rabbit with a stylishly patterned hat and shirt. Sky God wears a changeable robe with pictures on it that aid the story’s narration. The expressions the animals make when Zomo tricks them are fun to see, especially Leopard’s.

I really enjoyed this picture book, both the story and the artwork!

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