Tortoise, The Chameleon and other stories
The book captures the way of life and intrigues in the jungle. It paints a vivid picture of the daily chores of two sets of animals, the hunter and the hunted. The hunter is a pride of lions and the hunted are the elephant, buffalo, zebra, tortoise, a clan of meerkats etc.The intrigues that follow the lions' mealtime and the manoeuvrings of the hunted to live makes it an interesting book to read. More
The greatest strength of the book “Tortoise, the Chameleon and other stories” is the delightful writing itself. Telling the stories from the point of view of the animals is so entertaining. Young readers will be learning important lessons without even realizing it. The four stories in this book are in series.
The substance of “Tortoise” is meaningful. It’s the story of two sets of animals in the jungle; the hunters, and the hunted. The hunters are a pride of lions, and the hunted are the vegetarians such as the elephant, water buffalo, and turtle. The turtle incites the hunted to stand up to the hunters. As the title indicates, integrity becomes an issue when turtle changes sides when he falls for the lions’ lies, thus compromising his integrity.
The substance of “Swagger” is significant in that it shows what happens when leaders break the trust given them by their followers. When a leader asks his followers to do something he would not, then claims all the benefits for himself, trust is broken, and not easily repaired.
“Trust” gives another important lesson in trust. The story pertains to the vegetarians trusting the lying lion so much that Mother Kangaroo actually sends her joeys into his den, placing trust where it should not have been placed.
The substance of “Folly” is vital, showing that without discipline, many good works will come to nothing. In this story, a family of meerkats is forced away from their home by humans and the rampaging pride of lions. The meerkats find an oasis, but are followed by some hungry lions. The meerkats mount a sentry and ward off the lion with smelly fruit. However, the fruit is addictive and induces sleep, and some meerkats succumb to it, thus allowing the lions entry into the oasis. If they’d had the discipline to stay away from the drug-fruit, all would not have been lost.
Some strengths of these stories are the valuable lessons imparted; how important integrity, trust, and discipline are, and how easily they can be lost. Another strength is the realism, without too much gore, surrounding an actual mealtime for the lions.
The stories are a series continued with the same characters.
The presentation of the characters is delightful. It is narrated, and the stories are told from the animals’ point of view, which is refreshing and charming. This is the stories’ greatest strength, as it will likely entice the young readers to continue reading, learning important lessons while they are being entertained.
I would recommend this book for children aged Preschool through Young Adult.
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