Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zomo the Rabbit

It seems like I've been checking out books for Little Boy lately. International? Global? I dunno what exactly to call it. But you know what I mean, right?

Anyway, I'm not sure that Little Boy really gets the whole "other cultures" thing. We talk about how a story came from India or China or wherever, and sometimes we look at a map, but at four years old I'm pretty sure he just knows it's from somewhere far away. Good enough.

Part of me thinks I've just been checking these books out for a bit of variety for myself.

Whatever the reason, some of my favorites that we've found have been from Africa. I guess I'm not very familiar with African folktales (except Anansi the spider). Zomo the Rabbit is a fun story, and the illustrations are full of bold colors. Little Zomo wants to gain wisdom, so he asks the Sky God what he can do to get wisdom for himself. The Sky God gives him some impossible tasks, Zomo completes the tasks, and the Sky God grants him the wisdom he wanted.

The only problem I had with this story--and it's not really a problem with the story, it's more a problem of having a four-year-old--is that I wasn't sure how I was going to explain the "Sky God" concept to Little Boy. We believe in God, but not African folk gods. Little Boy didn't question it, though, so I let it go.

Little Boy really enjoyed the illustrations, and older kids would probably laugh at the parts where Zomo outsmarts the other animals. A good little story, overall. And, clicking around the library website just now, I found out that the author has written/illustrated other stories like this one--I'll be putting some of those on hold.

Zomo the Rabbit
Written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott
Age range*: 4-7
My rating: 4 stars [out of five]

*Age ranges are very flexible.

Full disclosure: I don't receive any compensation for reviewing children's books--the books are usually just checked out from the local library.

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